Toronto, Canada, Jun 23 (EFE).- A Canadian First Nation announced on Wednesday the discovery of hundreds of unmarked graves on the grounds of a former residential school in Saskatchewan province.
The Cowessess First Nation and the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous First Nation said they have discovered the graves on the grounds of the former Marieval Residential School, in operation between 1899 and 1997, about 2,500 kilometers northwest of Toronto.
It is the second discovery of mass graves on the grounds of former Canadian school residences in recent weeks.
On May 28, Rosanne Casimir, chief of the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation in British Columbia, also in western Canada, announced the discovery of the remains of 215 children buried in mass graves at the Kamloops school residence.
In both cases, the graves have been discovered using ground penetrating radar.
“The news that hundreds of unmarked graves have been found in Cowessess First Nation is absolutely tragic, but not surprising,” Perry Bellegarde, chief of the Assembly of First Nations, said on Twitter.
“I urge all Canadians to stand with First Nations in this extremely difficult and emotional time,” he added.
The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) of Saskatchewan, which represents the 74 indigenous groups in the province, noted that it is more than likely that numerous new, unidentified graves will be discovered in other school residences.
FSIN has initiated a systematic search of most of former residential schools in the province since the discovery of the human remains in Kamloops was announced.
From the 19th century, indigenous children were forcibly removed from their communities and sent to these boarding schools, in some cases located hundreds of kilometers from their families.