Manitoba Indigenous groups say graves containing the remains of former residential school children in the Brandon area need government protection under the Heritage Resources Act.
Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO) and Sioux Valley Dakota Nation have petitioned both the provincial and federal governments to protect the remains, which are currently located on private land.
Work has been underway for years — despite being put on temporary hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic — to identify the more than 100 potential graves at cemeteries on the site of the former Brandon Indian Residential School, which operated from 1895 to 1972 before being demolished in 2000.
“We have been asking the province to implement the act to protect the graves of those who perished while attending Brandon Indian Residential School for two years now,” said MKO Grand Chief Garrison Settee in a release Tuesday.
“The crux of the issue is ensuring that the remains of those children are not at risk. Right now they are. We realize this is a complex issue but given the length of time the province has had to act, we felt we had no recourse but to go public with our plight.”
More information about the ongoing issue will be presented at a news conference Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. from Long Plain First Nation lands in Winnipeg.
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Global News will stream the event live on this page.
Manitoba First Nation works to identify 104 potential graves at Brandon residential school
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