The dark history of residential schools saw 150,000 Indigenous children taken away to residential schools and over 4,100 of those children never returned home.
While the knowledge of the heinous event has been in the shadows for over 100 years, the truth was brought into light with the discovery of 215 unmarked graves of children buried in Kamloops B.C. A movement is growing across the country to shed full light on the tragedy of residential schools and the generational impact it has had upon Indigenous communities. As recently as today, Thursday, June 24 another 751 unmarked graves have been found in a former Saskatchewan residential school.
According to the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, the Morley residential school operated from 1922 to 1969. Before that, Methodist missionaries operated the McDougall Orphanage and Training Institution from 1880 to 1908 in Morleyville.
Residents believe that there are unmarked graves at the Morely residential school site.
On Wednesday, June 23 Premier Kenney announced that the provincial government will be putting up $8 million in the form of grant funding to aid in the search for unmarked graves and undocumented deaths linked to residential schools in the province.
Alberta had the most residential schools in the country at the time they were operating with 25 schools that operated in the province between 1893 and 1996.
The funding can be applied for online by Indigenous communities in Alberta. Organizations or communities will submit a single residential school site research proposal to receive a maximum of $150,000.
The funds may be used for research including gathering oral histories from elders, using ground-penetrating radar, and other technology in searching for unmarked burial sites. Funding may also be used for the maintenance of sites, commemorative work, memorials, and events.
Applications for the grant funding are open from now until January 15, 2022.
On June 30th, in honour of National Indigenous History Month, 91.5 CochraneNow along with radio stations across the country will take part in “A Day to Listen” to help elevate the indigenous voices in Canada. To learn more visit downiewenjack.ca.