Search for unmarked graves to resume at former residential school in Nova Scotia

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HALIFAX — A survivor of the largest residential school in the Maritimes says the search will continue for unmarked graves at the site north of Halifax.

Dorene Bernard, a Mi'kmaq elder, confirmed today that ground-penetrating radar was used at the former Shubenacadie Indian Residential school in April and December of last year, but no graves or human remains were found.

Bernard says she felt devastated when she learned last week about the 215 unmarked burial sites found at a former residential school in Kamloops, B.C., but she was not surprised by the grim discovery.

She says there is an official list of 16 students who died while attending the school in Shubenacadie, but she says survivors have come forward in the past three years to provide names of more missing children.

Bernard says she's concerned that the large property has been disturbed over the years, mainly because the school burned down in the 1980s and was later replaced by a plastics plant, which is still in operation.

The Department of Indian Affairs built the school in 1930 and students were taken in from all three Maritime provinces and the Restigouche Indian Reserve in Quebec before it was shut down in 1967.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 1, 2021.

The Canadian Press