On Thursday, June 24, the Cowessess First Nation discovered 751 unmarked graves outside the former Marieval Indian Residential School near Regina, Saskatchewan. This discovery comes less than a month after the bodies of 215 indigenous children were discovered on the grounds of a former residential school in Kamloops, British Columbia.
Our hearts break yet again for every First Nations child whose life, culture, and identity was stolen from them through Canada’s residential school system.
To date, the Cowessess First Nation does not have adequate records regarding the children who lived and died at the school. It relied on oral history and survivors’ accounts to locate the unmarked graves.
We stand with the Cowessess First Nation, and with all Indigenous Peoples throughout Turtle Island. We recognize that Canada’s history of genocide, dispossession and violence continues today and must be confronted. Once again, we call for the full implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action as a necessary step toward reckoning with the impact of colonization and the residential school system on First Nations people.