Canada finds hundreds of graves at former indigenous school

Canada Celebrating National Indigenous Peoples Day Today

Last month, the remains of 215 children were discovered in unmarked graves at the school site.

The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations said in a statement on Wednesday that the number of newly found unmarked graves was "the most significantly substantial to date in Canada".

The discovery weeks ago of the remains of 215 indigenous children at the site of another residential school for indigenous children in Kamloops, British Columbia, forced Canadians to confront the legacy of an abusive and assimilationist system.

According to various estimates, from 3,200 to 6,000 children died in Canadian boarding schools for indigenous peoples, over the entire period of their existence (from the mid-19th century).

The Cowessess First Nation in Saskatchewan will host a news conference today to announce the "horrific and shocking discovery" of the graves, the FSIN said in a statement.

The former Marieval Indian Residential School is located about 25 kilometres north of Broadview.

Between 1831 and 1996, about 150,000 Indigenous children were sent to Canadian residential schools, which were run by the government and church groups.

Clark noted Saskatoon is home to many Cowessess First Nation members.

Distant view of the Cowesses Indian Residential School from 1923.

"I urge all Canadians to stand with First Nations in this extremely hard and emotional time", he said on Twitter.

The province also noted that beyond this funding, it is also considering additional initiatives to support communities through the process of identifying, documenting, protecting, and commemorating the burial ground and unmarked graves.

The congregation of Catholic women that staffed the Kamloops residential school for decades has reached an agreement with the Royal BC Museum to make its records more accessible to Indigenous communities, including the Tk'emlúps te Secwe̓pemc First Nation.

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.