First Nation reports discovery of 182 sets of human remains near B.C. Interior residential school

A First Nation is reporting the discovery of 182 sets of human remains in unmarked graves near the site of a former residential school in Cranbrook, B.C.The Lower Kootenay Band said Thursday in a statement it believes the 182 sets of remains — buried in shallow graves only a metre deep — are from the member bands of the Ktunaxa nation, neighbouring First Nations communities and the community of aq’am.Both the Lower Kootenay Band and the community of aq’am are members of the Ktunaxa First Nation. The community of aq’am sits just outside of Cranbrook, B.C., while the Lower Kootenay Band is in Creston, 120 kilometres southwest of Cranbrook.The discovery of the remains was reportedly made last year, by the community of aq’am, using ground-penetrating radar to search a site close to the former St. Eugene’s Mission School. The former school is now St. Eugene Golf Resort and Casino.That school was operated from 1912 until the early 1970s by the Roman Catholic Church. The Lower Kootenay Band estimates that, during that span, some 100 of its band members attended the residential school.“The Lower Kootenay Band is still in the very early stages of receiving information from the reports of the finding, but will provide updates as time progresses,” said the band in a statement.The public statement comes in the wake of the discovery of hundreds of unmarked graves at former residential school sites in Kamloops, B.C., and in Saskatchewan by the Cowessess First Nation.The Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line is available 24 hours a day for anyone experiencing pain or distress as a result of a residential school experience. Support is available at 1-866-925-4419.

First Nation reports discovery of 182 sets of human remains near B.C. Interior residential school

A First Nation is reporting the discovery of 182 sets of human remains in unmarked graves near the site of a former residential school in Cranbrook, B.C.

The Lower Kootenay Band said Thursday in a statement it believes the 182 sets of remains — buried in shallow graves only a metre deep — are from the member bands of the Ktunaxa nation, neighbouring First Nations communities and the community of aq’am.

Both the Lower Kootenay Band and the community of aq’am are members of the Ktunaxa First Nation. The community of aq’am sits just outside of Cranbrook, B.C., while the Lower Kootenay Band is in Creston, 120 kilometres southwest of Cranbrook.

The discovery of the remains was reportedly made last year, by the community of aq’am, using ground-penetrating radar to search a site close to the former St. Eugene’s Mission School. The former school is now St. Eugene Golf Resort and Casino.

That school was operated from 1912 until the early 1970s by the Roman Catholic Church. The Lower Kootenay Band estimates that, during that span, some 100 of its band members attended the residential school.

“The Lower Kootenay Band is still in the very early stages of receiving information from the reports of the finding, but will provide updates as time progresses,” said the band in a statement.

The public statement comes in the wake of the discovery of hundreds of unmarked graves at former residential school sites in Kamloops, B.C., and in Saskatchewan by the Cowessess First Nation.

The Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line is available 24 hours a day for anyone experiencing pain or distress as a result of a residential school experience. Support is available at 1-866-925-4419.