The remains of 182 people were found in anonymous graves around another former residential school in the Canadian province of British Columbia. The Lower Coot Band said in a statement on Wednesday that a member of the Akum community of the Kutunaxa Nation, located near the town of Cranbrook, used an underground search radar to locate the remains near the former school of the St. Eugene mission.
The indigenous school was run by the Catholic Church from 1912 to the early 1970s, reports the Xinhua news agency. The building has been converted into a hotel complex and casino, as well as an adjacent golf course. “The remains of these 182 bodies are believed to belong to the group, members of the Katunxa Nation and the Akum community,” the group said in a statement.
The group said 100 of its members were forced to go to school. The find follows the discovery of the estimated remains of 215 people at the site of the Kamloops Indian Residential School in British Columbia and of approximately 751 unmarked graves near a site of the Maryval Indian Residential School in Saskatchewan. Community leaders interviewed residential school survivors in the community before announcing the find.
The group said it was in the early stages of the report’s conclusions and would provide more updates. These schools were known for their overcrowding, poor hygienic conditions, unhealthy food and low labor force. Their pupils who spoke their mother tongue or participated in traditional ceremonies were severely punished.