August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Location of 28 Mass Graves at Residential Schools in Canada: Published in 2008


Residential Schools in Canada

Mass Graves at former Indian Residential Schools and Hospitals across Canada

By Hidden from History 
Published at Atlantic Free Press
Contributed by Brenda Norrell
April 15, 2008
Updated September 17, 2021

Trigger warning for content. This list of 28 mass graves of Native children who died of starvation, disease, torture, and murder, at residential schools in Canada was published in 2008. Now, with advancements in technology, mass graves and unmarked graves are being located. Among the horrors on this list are the hospital sites.
The information was published by Hidden from History from historical data and survivor and eyewitness accounts. The children were stolen from their families by churches and government Indian agents. Parents who hid their children were to be imprisoned, by Canadian law.
Instead of being schools, these were militarized prison facilities where children were incarcerated and subjected routinely to beatings and abuse. -- Censored News.

Children to be asked in ceremony for permission to search for graves. Sept. 2021
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/sudbury/ceremony-residential-schools-ontario-1.6179800

Harriet Nahanee, an eyewitness to the murder of Maise Shaw on Dec. 24, 1946, at the Alberni School (1995.) Harriet, one of the first to speak out publicly, died of pneumonia and lung cancer after being jailed for activism to protect the environment in 2007.


A. British Columbia

1. Port Alberni:

Presbyterian-United Church school (1895-1973), now occupied by the
Nuu-Chah-Nulth Tribal Council (NTC) office, Kitskuksis Road . Gravesite is a series of sinkhole rows in hills 100 metres due west of the NTC building, in thick foliage, past an unused water pipeline. Children also interred at Tseshaht reserve cemetery, and in wooded gully east of Catholic cemetery on River Road.




Murder at the Alberni and Ahousat United Church Schools
Stanley Sam, an eyewitness to the beating death of Albert Gray in Nov. 1938 
at the Ahousat school (1996)


2. Alert Bay :

St. Michael’s Anglican school (1878-1975), situated on Cormorant Island offshore from Port McNeill. Presently the building is used by Namgis First Nation. The site is an overgrown field adjacent to the building, and also under the foundations of the present new building, constructed during the 1960s. Skeletons seen “between the walls”.

Murder at the Kuper Island Catholic School
Former Kuper Island student Bill Seward, whose sister Margaret
was "thrown from a third-story window by a nun" and died.


3. Kuper Island: Catholic school

(1890-1975), offshore from Chemainus. The land occupied by Penelakut Band. The former building is destroyed except for a staircase. Two grave sites:  one immediately south of the former building, in a field containing a conventional cemetery; another at the west shoreline in a lagoon near the main dock.

Update July 13, 2021: 160 graves found at Kuper Island:
https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2021/jul/13/canada-unmarked-graves-british-columbia-residential-school

4. Nanaimo Indian Hospital:  Indian Affairs and United Church experimental facility (1942-1970) on Department of National Defense land. Buildings now destroyed. Gravesites are immediately east of former buildings on Fifth Avenue, adjacent to and south of Malaspina College.

Updates Sept. 2021

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/fundraiser-vancouver-island-1.6176067

5. Mission: St. Mary’s Catholic school (1861-1984), adjacent to and north of Lougheed Highway and Fraser River Heritage Park. Original school buildings are destroyed, but many foundations are visible on the grounds of the Park.

In this area there are two gravesites: a) immediately adjacent to former girls’ dormitory and present cemetery for priests, and a larger mass grave in an artificial earthen mound, north of the cemetery among overgrown foliage and blackberry bushes, and b) east of the old school grounds, on the hilly slopes next to the field leading to the newer school building which is presently used by the Sto:lo First Nation. Hill site is 150 metres west of the building.

6. North Vancouver: Squamish (1898-1959) and Sechelt (1912-1975) Catholic schools, buildings destroyed. Graves of children who died in these schools interred in the Squamish Band Cemetery, North Vancouver.

7. Sardis: Coqualeetza Methodist-United Church school (1889-1940), then experimental hospital run by the federal government (1940-1969). Native burial site next to Sto:lo reserve and Little Mountain school, also possibly adjacent to the former school-hospital building.

8. Cranbrook: St. Eugene Catholic school (1898-1970), recently converted into a tourist “resort” with federal funding, resulting in the covering-over of a mass burial site by a golf course in front of the building. Numerous gravesites are around and under this golf course.

Update June 30, 2021: 128 Unmarked graves located at St. Eugene School. Survivor describes abuse endured by children.

9. Williams Lake: Catholic school (1890-1981), buildings destroyed but foundations intact, five miles south of city. Gravesites reported north of school grounds and under foundations of the tunnel-like structure.

10. Meares Island (Tofino): Kakawis-Christie Catholic school (1898-1974). Buildings incorporated into Kakawis Healing Centre. Body storage room reported in the basement, adjacent to burial grounds south of the school.

11. Kamloops : Catholic school (1890-1978). Buildings are intact. Mass grave south of the school, adjacent to and amidst orchard. Numerous burials witnessed there.

Update June 2021: 215 remains located in mass grave at Kamloops.

Survivor said Kamloops was a labor camp, with sexual abuse of students by school staff at night. Radio interview KPFA 2021.

12. Lytton: St. George’s Anglican school (1901-1979). Graves of students flogged to death, and others, reported under floorboards and next to the playground.

13. Fraser Lake: Lejac Catholic school

(1910-1976), buildings destroyed. Graves reported under old foundations and between the walls.

Sterilizations, abortions and medical experiments

United Church Sterilization Centre, Bella Bella BC
W.R. Large Memorial Hospital site of sterilizations and medical 
experiments between at least 1923 and 1969.


Alberta:

1. Edmonton: United Church school (1919-1960), present site of the Poundmaker Lodge in St. Albert . Graves of children reported south of former school site, under the thick hedge that runs north-south, adjacent to memorial marker.

2. Edmonton: Charles Camsell Hospital (1945-1967), building intact, an experimental hospital run by Indian Affairs and United Church. Mass graves of children from the hospital reported south of the building, near staff garden.

Update Aug. 7, 2021.
https://edmontonjournal.com/news/local-news/search-for-unmarked-graves-at-former-edmonton-hospital-site-to-continue-this-month-after-first-survey-leaves-questions-unanswered

3. Saddle Lake: Bluequills Catholic school (1898-1970), building intact, skeletons and skulls observed in the basement furnace. Mass grave reported adjacent to the school.

4. Hobbema: Ermineskin Catholic school (1916-1973), five intact skeletons observed in school furnace. Graves under former building foundations.

Manitoba:

1. Brandon: Methodist-United Church school (1895-1972). Building intact. Burials reported west of the school building. 2. Portage La Prairie: Presbyterian-United Church school (1895-1950). Children buried at nearby Hillside Cemetery.

3. Norway House:

Methodist-United Church school (1900-1974). “Very old” gravesite next to the former school building, demolished by United Church in 2004.

Ontario:

1. Thunder Bay: Lakehead Psychiatric Hospital, still in operation. Experimental centre. Women and children reported buried adjacent to hospital grounds.



2. Sioux Lookout: Pelican Lake Catholic school (1911-1973). Burials of children in the mound near to the school. 3. Kenora: Cecilia Jeffrey school, Presbyterian-United Church (1900-1966). Large burial mound east of the former school. 4. Fort Albany: St. Anne’s Catholic school (1936-1964). Children killed in electric chair buried next to the school. 5. Spanish: Catholic school (1883-1965). Numerous graves.

6. Brantford: Mohawk Institute, Anglican church (1850-1969), building intact. Series of graves in the orchard behind the school building, under rows of trees.

7. Sault Ste. Marie: Shingwauk Anglican school (1873-1969), some intact buildings. Several graves of children reported on grounds of the old school.

Update: Document shows children buried at Shingwauk, their age and cause of death. 'The Shingwauk Files,' by Censored News, June 2021. https://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2021/06/the-shingwauk-files-search-begins-for.html

Quebec:

1. Montreal: Allan Memorial Institute, McGill University, still in operation since opening in 1940. MKULTRA experimental centre. Mass grave of children killed there north of the building, on southern slopes of Mount Royal behind the stone wall.

Residential school survivors used in medical experiments filed lawsuits.

Hidden from History "Forced Abortions and Secret Burials - Port Alberni BC
-Catholic cemetery west of Port Alberni, across from the Alberni residential school, where children were buried in secret."
Hidden from History: "Forced Abortions and Secret Burials - Port Alberni BC
West Coast General Hospital, where forced abortions were performed on native students made pregnant by Alberni residential school staff, and where dead bodies from the school were stored under false death certificates."
http://canadiangenocide.nativeweb.org/

Update 2021: 751 unmarked graves found at Cowessess First Nation residential school in Saskatchewan.

Sources of list published in 2008 :


- Eyewitness accounts from survivors of these institutions, cataloged in Hidden from History: The Canadian Holocaust (2nd ed., 2005) by Kevin Annett. Other accounts are from local residents. See www.hiddenfromhistory.org

Documents and other material from the Department of Indian Affairs RG

10 microfilm series on Indian Residential Schools in Koerner Library, University of B.C.

- Survey data and physical evidence obtained from gravesites in Port Alberni, Mission, and other locations.

This is a partial list and does not include all of the gravesites connected to Indian residential schools and hospitals across Canada. In many cases, children who were dying of diseases were sent home to die by school and church officials, and the remains of other children who died at the school were incinerated in the residential school furnaces.

This information is submitted by The Friends and Relatives of the Disappeared (FRD) to the world media, the United Nations, and to the International Human Rights Tribunal into Genocide in Canada (IHRTGC). The IHRTGC will commence its investigations on

April 15, 2008, on Squamish Nation territory.

For more information on the independent inquiry into genocide in Canada being conducted by the IHRTGC, write to: genocidetribunal@yahoo.ca

10 April 2008
Squamish Nation Territory (“Vancouver, Canada”)

http://atlanticfreepress.com Powered by Joomla! Generated: 15 April, 2008, 15:34


Location of Mass Graves of Residential School Children Revealed; Independent Tribunal Established 2008

Contributed by Brenda Norrell
Atlantic Free Press - Hard Truths for Hard Times
Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Squamish Nation Territory ("Vancouver, Canada") - At a public ceremony and press conference held today outside the colonial "Indian Affairs" building in downtown Vancouver, the Friends and Relatives of the Disappeared (FRD) released a list of twenty-eight mass graves across Canada holding the remains of untold numbers of aboriginal children who died in Indian Residential Schools.

The list was distributed today to the world media and to United Nations agencies, as the first act of the newly-formed International Human Rights Tribunal into Genocide in Canada (IHRTGC), a non-governmental body established by indigenous elders.

In a statement read by FRD spokesperson Eagle Strong Voice, it was declared that the IHRTGC would commence its investigations on April 15, 2008, the fourth Annual Aboriginal Holocaust Memorial Day. This inquiry will involve international human rights observers from Guatemala and Cyprus and will convene aboriginal courts of justice where those persons and institutions responsible for the death and suffering of residential school children will be tried and sentenced. (The complete Statement and List of Mass Graves is reproduced below).

Eagle Strong Voice and IHRTGC elders will present the Mass Graves List at the United Nations on April 19 and will ask United Nations agencies to protect and monitor the mass graves as part of a genuine inquiry and judicial prosecution of those responsible for this Canadian Genocide.

Eyewitness Sylvester Greene spoke to the media at today's event and described how he helped bury a young Inuit boy at the United Church's Edmonton residential school in 1953.

"We were told never to tell anyone by Jim Ludford, the Principal, who got me and three other boys to bury him. But a lot more kids got buried all the time in that big grave next to the school."

Press Statement: April 10, 2008

Mass Graves of Residential School Children Identified – Independent Inquiry Launched

We are gathered today to publicly disclose the location of twenty-eight mass graves of children who died in Indian Residential Schools across Canada, and to announce the formation of an independent, non-governmental inquiry into the death and disappearance of children in these schools.

We estimate that there are hundreds, and possibly thousands, of children buried in these gravesites alone.

The Catholic, Anglican and United Church, and the government of Canada, operated the schools and hospitals where these mass graves are located.

We, therefore, hold these institutions and their officers legally responsible and liable for the deaths of these children.

We have no confidence that the very institutions of church and state that are responsible for these deaths can conduct any kind of impartial or real inquiry into them. Accordingly, as of April 15, 2008, we are establishing an independent, non-governmental inquiry into the death and disappearance of Indian residential school children across Canada.

This inquiry shall be known as The International Human Rights Tribunal into Genocide in Canada (IHRTGC), and is established under the authority of the following hereditary chiefs, who shall serve as presiding judges of the Tribunal:

Hereditary Chief Kiapilano of the Squamish Nation

Chief Louis Daniels (Whispers Wind), Anishinabe Nation Chief Svnoyi Wohali (Night Eagle), Cherokee Nation Lillian Shirt, Clan Mother, Cree Nation

Elder Ernie Sandy, Anishinabe (Ojibway) Nation

Hereditary Chief Steve Sampson, Chemainus Nation

Ambassador Chief Red Jacket of Turtle Island

Today, we are releasing to this Tribunal and to the people of the world the enclosed information on the location of mass graves connected to Indian residential schools and hospitals in order to prevent the destruction of this crucial evidence by the Canadian government, the RCMP and the Anglican, Catholic and United Church of Canada.

We call upon indigenous people on the land where these graves are located to monitor and protect these sites vigilantly and prevent their destruction by occupational forces such as the RCMP and other government agencies.

Our Tribunal will commence on April 15 by gathering all of the evidence, including forensic remains, that is necessary to charge and indict those responsible for the deaths of the children buried therein.

Once these persons have been identified and detained, they will be tried and sentenced in indigenous courts of justice established by our Tribunal and under the authority of hereditary chiefs.

As the first step in this process, the IHRTGC will present this list of mass graves along with a statement to the United Nations in New York City on April 19, 2008. The IHRTGC will be asking the United Nations to declare these mass graves to be protected heritage sites and will invite international human rights observers to monitor and assist its work.

Issued by the Elders and Judges of the IHRTGC

Interim Spokesperson: Eagle Strong Voice

Email: genocidetribunal@yahoo.ca

IHRTGC

Sponsors include The Friends and Relatives of the Disappeared, The Truth Commission into Genocide in Canada, the Defensoria Indigenia of Guatemala, Canadians for the Separation of Church and State, and a confederation of indigenous elders across Canada and Turtle Island
Issued on Squamish Territory, 10 April, 2008, under the authority of Hereditary Chief Kiapilano. For more information: www.hiddenfromhistory.org, or write to the IHRTGC at: genocidetribunal@yahoo.ca

1 comment:

Lloyd Vivola said...

Thanks for this continued coverage. You know, the mainstream media can continue to mark the casualty count of European floods and the building collapse in Florida, both the result of historical "White Man" ecological thinking, or lack thereof. Meanwhile, the genocidal policies and actions of the Settler Culture gain some fresh media "exposure" with the help of technologically-enhanced investigations regarding grave sites at Indian Residential Schools. Fine. But again, as yours and other archived stories reveal and beg clarification from settler authorities, what about the oral testimony of Native Nation peoples, witnesses who have experienced and reported these crimes and abuses over the decades? Not good enough to warrant official inquiry? As if technological advancement is key to achieving human rights and dignity for indigenous people. In other words, a racist, colonialist bias never fails to seep through the seams of the dominant-culture's style of storytelling. To be sure, a difficult bias to unlearn, but a task that begins with self-awareness of settler fear, prejudice, and assumed ignorance. That said, human rights activists and indigenous communities must press mainstream and heritage news sources to pursue the Indian School revelations in full and in the spirit of once living lives lost, those of brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, and not simply as some historical moment for the perfunctory raising of social-consciousness among the settler communities. Most importantly, the leaders of the settler governments and their responsible agents in Canada and the United States must be held accountable for genocidal policies and/or the cover-up thereof in an International Court, the Indigenous Peoples Forum, or some other like recognized body. Official censure, at least! No crocodile tears or the wringing of hands, thank you. Canadian and American citizens must also take measure as complicit - constitutionally, by social contract – members of a so-called "of the, by the, for the people" democracy. Finally, let us hope – even if history often instructs us otherwise – that any investigation by Secretary Haaland goes forth bravely and without obstruction. Aho and check!