Hundreds of unmarked graves’ found at former residential school in Saskatchewan

Students outside the Shingwauk Indian Residential School, in Sault Ste. Marie, in 1955. (Courtesy of Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre, Algoma University)

As anticipated, the numbers keep mounting.  Canada awaits the official details of yet another deeply disturbing finding.

The Cowessess First Nation in Saskatchewan says they have uncovered the “horrific and shocking discovery of hundreds of unmarked graves” at the site of the former Marieval Indian Residential School.

In a release, they say the number of graves is the most “significantly substantial to date in Canada.”

A press conference will be held on Thursday to reveal the details of the findings.

Perry Bellegarde, the chief of the Assembly of First Nations, said in a tweet late Wednesday that the finding at Cowessess is “absolutely tragic, but not surprising.”

“I urge all Canadians to stand with First Nations in this extremely difficult and emotional time.”

The Marieval Indian residential school. Credit: University of Regina

The discovery comes soon after another mass grave was unearthed by the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation at the former Kamloops Residential School in British Columbia last month.

The remains of 215 children, some as young as three years old, were found buried on the school grounds – once the largest in Canada’s residential school system.

Chief Rosanne Casimir of the Tk’emlups te Secwépemc First Nation said at the time the discovery was an “unthinkable loss that was spoken about but never documented at the Kamloops Indian Residential School.”

The federal government has since offered $27 million in funding for all First Nations communities to help identify and investigate marked and unmarked burial grounds near residential schools.

Ontario has committed $10 million and Alberta $8 million for Indigenous communities to locate and investigate grounds surrounding residential schools in those provinces. Manitoba has also announced $2.5 million in funding to identify and commemorate burial sites at residential schools in the province.

The Quebec and federal governments have announced a plan for a central place for the province’s Indigenous communities to go for support over former residential schools.

–with files from



  1. These were not ‘unfortunate incidents’ we allowed our leaders to stop short at a disingenious apology & a big bag of money.. these are not burial sites, these are ‘crime-scenes’, war-crimes & crimes against humanity.

    We must not allow our leaders to continue to help ‘them’ cover up this ongoing slaughter & democide against our people.. we can not allow, assist or trust the Canadian Government to ‘investigate’ itself.

    It’s time to abolish the ‘Indian Act’ & initiate an international war-crimes tribunal.. It’s time to bring our children home & hold our leaders accountable for the atrocities they’ve committed, just sayin’.

    Strange daze indeed..

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