'We always knew:' Reactions to 751 unmarked graves detected at residential school

·2 min read

Cowessess First Nation in Saskatchewan says ground-penetrating radar has found 751 unmarked graves at the former Marieval Indian Residential School site, about 150 kilometres east of Regina. Here is some reaction from across the country:

"We always knew that there were graves here." — Chief Cadmus Delorme of the Cowessess First Nation

---

"The world is watching Canada as we unearth the findings of genocide. We had concentration camps here. We had them here in Canada, in Saskatchewan. They were called Indian Residential Schools." — Chief Bobby Cameron of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations in Saskatchewan

---

"The findings in Marieval and Kamloops are part of a larger tragedy. They are a shameful reminder of the systemic racism, discrimination, and injustice that Indigenous peoples have faced — and continue to face — in this country. And together, we must acknowledge this truth, learn from our past, and walk the shared path of reconciliation, so we can build a better future.” — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

---

"I just want people to take a moment to think about the schools that they went to. If you went to grade school in Canada, would you ever imagine that there would be a burial site for kids at the school, even if that school was 50 years old?" — Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh

---

"I understand many were children, and it is heartbreaking to think that so many children lost their lives after being separated from their families, and away from the love and solace only a family can provide." — Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe

---

"We cannot let ourselves become desensitized. We cannot look away. We have to face these horrors head on and take real, meaningful and swift action on Truth and Reconciliation. Thoughts and prayers are simply not enough." — Saskatchewan Opposition NDP Leader Ryan Meili

---

"This was a truth that was far too often denied. It can no longer be." — Federal Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller

---

"They are not numbers. They are children. They are our ancestors and our cousins. They are people who should have had full lives, and whose children and grandchildren should be with us today." — Sol Mamakwa, Ontario NDP MPP and residential school survivor

---

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 24, 2021.

The Canadian Press

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting