Investigation at Mohawk Institute shifts focus from criminal to coroner probe

TORONTO — An Indigenous group involved in efforts to uncover what happened at a former residential school in Ontario says a criminal investigation into unmarked burials and missing children at the institution is winding down, with focus shifting to a coroner-led probe.

The Survivors’ Secretariat says it is grateful to police who've worked on the case and looks forward to reading their final report, expected in the fall, on what happened at the Mohawk Institute in Brantford, Ont.

The group says the coroner's investigation will focus on bringing closure to survivors rather than placing the blame on individuals who carried out atrocities.

It also says the coroner investigation will allow it to access more data that is uncovered, which could allow families of victims to review files relevant to them.

Ontario's Office of the Chief Coroner says it will work with the Survivor's Secretariat to determine the next steps forward.

Ontario Provincial Police say their officers will continue working on the case until the criminal investigation concludes.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 9, 2023.

The Canadian Press