• A memorial for the 215 children whose remains were found at the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School in British Columbia. (AAP)Source: AAP
The unmarked graves of 751 people have been discovered at the former Marieval Indian Residential School in Canada's Saskatchewan province.
By
REUTERS

Source:
Reuters
25 Jun 2021 - 8:45 AM  UPDATED 25 Jun 2021 - 8:54 AM

An Indigenous group in Canada's Saskatchewan province has found the unmarked graves of 751 people at a now-defunct residential school, the group says, just weeks after a similar discovery in British Columbia rocked the country.

The Catholic church that ran the Marieval Indian Residential School about 140km from the provincial capital Regina removed the headstones, Cowessess First Nation Chief Cadmus Delorme told reporters.

He said it is not clear how many of the remains detected belong to children.

"This is not a mass gravesite. These are unmarked graves," Delorme said.

"There are oral stories that there are adults in this gravesite as well."

According to Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which published a report that found the country's residential school system amounted to cultural genocide, a cemetery was left on the Marieval site after the school building was demolished.

"We are not asking for pity. We are asking for understanding," Delorme said.

"We didn't remove the headstones. Removing headstones is a crime in this country. We are treating this like a crime scene," he added.

The Cowessess First Nation began a ground-penetrating radar search on June 2 after the discovery of 215 unmarked graves at the Kamloops Residential School in British Columbia.

The Kamloops discovery reopened old wounds in Canada about the lack of information and accountability around the residential school system, which forcibly separated indigenous children from their families.

'Unthinkable loss': Remains of 215 children found at Indigenous boarding school in Canada
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the "distressing" discovery of the remains was "a painful reminder of that dark and shameful chapter of our country's history".