171 Potential Grave Sites at St. Mary’s Indian Residential School

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KENORA – Today the Kaatagoging Survivor’s group of the St. Mary’s Indian Residential School announced its preliminary findings of 171 anomalies suggesting potential graves sites at the school site.

“I am absolutely heartbroken at the announcement of 171 potential grave sites at St. Mary’s Indian Residential School,” said Ogichidaa Francis Kavanaugh. “Today, the entirety of the Anishinaabe Nation in Treaty #3 mourns with Wauzhushk Onigum, the survivors, and intergenerational survivors of St. Mary’s Indian Residential School.”

Chief Chris Skead and Wauzhushk Onigum Nation have been working on an investigation of the former St. Mary’s school site since May 2022. The Treaty #3 territory is the location of five former residential schools covering six sites. St. Mary’s operated from 1897 to 1872 and was attended by children from across the Treaty #3 territory and beyond.

“With this announcement today, the first of its kind in Treaty #3, I ask that we all take a moment to reach out and connect with each other so that none of us are alone when hearing this devastating news.”

The leadership and the staff of Grand Council Treaty #3 consider this to be some of the most difficult work they have undertaken and will continue stand alongside Wauzhushk Onigum on the path to truth and healing.

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