Content warning: The following information may be triggering for some of our readers. Please note the Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line is available 24-hours a day for any Survivors or their families who are experiencing pain or distress. Call: 1-800-721-0066 or visit the website of the Indian Residential School Survivors Society here.
The Southern Chiefs’ Organization (SCO) sends condolences and calls for support and prayers for the Star Blanket Cree Nation in Saskatchewan.
Today, the Cree Nation announced the results of ground-penetrating radar searches at the site of the former Lebret Indian Industrial School, which operated from 1884 and closed in 1998.
Many members of the Star Blanket Cree Nation were forced to attend the former residential school.
The Nation has completed the search of the school grounds and will now move onto other areas—the total search area is more than 55 acres of land. After more than a year of searching, the First Nation found more than 2000 anomalies of the area that was searched. The First Nation will now begin doing sampling to run DNA tests and start to confirm which of the anomalies are unmarked graves.
On October 2, 2022, the Star Blanket Cree Nation discovered a jaw bone fragment at the site, which is determined to be about 125 years old and have belonged to a child aged four to six years old. The presence of the jaw bone is physical proof of an unmarked grave, which has been confirmed by both the File Hills Police Service and the Saskatchewan Coroners Office.
Please join SCO is sharing support for the Star Blanket Cree Nation and for all those across Turtle Island who are impacted by the ongoing legacy of the residential school system.
You can read more about the Star Blanket Cree Nation’s search here.