An Indigenous nation in Canada said it has found the remains of 182 people near the grounds of a former residential school in British Columbia. The Lower Kootenay Band said it is too early to say if the remains belonged to former students of the school.
But the discovery adds to a rising tally of such unmarked grave sites across the country. The latest discovery of graves near Cranbrook, British Columbia follows reports of similar findings at two other such church-run schools, one of more than 600 unmarked graves and another of 215 bodies. Cranbrook is 524 miles (843 kilometers) east of Vancouver. The grim finds have prompted national outrage and fuelled calls by some to cancel the 1 July Canada Day holiday. Indigenous leaders have said they expect more graves will be found as investigations continue. The Lower Kootenay Band said in a news release that it began using the technology last year to search the site close to the former St. Eugene’s Mission School, which was operated by the Catholic Church from 1912 until the early 1970s. It said the search found the remains in unmarked graves, some about 3 feet (a meter) deep.
It’s believed the remains are those of people from the bands of the Ktunaxa nation, which includes the Lower Kootenay Band, and other neighboring First Nation communities.