July 22nd, 2024

Manitoba First Nation reports 150 anomalies at residential school site

By The Canadian Press on July 3, 2024.

A First Nation community in northern Manitoba says ground-penetrating radar has found 150 anomalies at and around the site of a former residential school, along with 59 unmarked graves at a nearby cemetery. Cutouts of orange T-shirts are hung on a fence outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School, in Kamloops, B.C., on Thursday, July 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

CROSS LAKE, MAN. – A First Nation community in northern Manitoba says ground-penetrating radar has found 150 anomalies at the site of a former residential school, along with 59 unmarked graves at a nearby cemetery.

Chief David Monias of the Pimicikamak Cree Nation says it is shocking, and says more work is needed to determine whether some of the anomalies may be unmarked burial sites.

The St. Joseph’s Residential School, managed by the Roman Catholic Church, operated in the community from 1912 to 1969, and housed children from across northern Manitoba.

Monias says researchers earlier documented 85 deaths of children at the school.

Documents at the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation say the school at times suffered outbreaks linked to overcrowding, including a spread of tuberculosis in 1943.

Other Manitoba communities have launched similar searches, including 14 anomalies at the site of the former Pine Creek Residential School which, following excavation, showed no evidence of human remains.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 3, 2024

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