‘Namgis First Nation to look for unmarked burial grounds in Alert Bay

July 9, 2021 – Recently uncovered unmarked burial grounds of First Nations children at the sites of former residential schools in B.C. and Saskatchewan have shaken First Nations throughout Canada.

The discoveries have shown that there is still much to be brought to light from the dark years of the residential school practices of mistreatment and abuse that lasted for decades.

‘Namgis First Nation Council has decided to execute a project to find out whether unmarked burial grounds also exist around the site of the St. Michael’s residential school which remained active in Alert Bay from 1894 to 1974.

The Council is currently seeking an expert who will design, assist in preparing funding application for and implement the project. The focus of the project will be to research, identify, recover and access all possible documentation that could assist to determine the possible existence of unmarked graves of First Nation children.

Under the project, former students of the St. Michael’s will be interviewed to collect their information about the practices they witnessed during the period they were kept at the school while mental health and culturally appropriate supports will be provided.

The project will identify qualified contractors to survey the area and propose further follow-up action depending on the findings, including excavation work.

Membership will be briefed regularly on the development, design and implementation of the project, which is expected to take some time to complete.

For further information on this initiative, please email info@namgis.bc.ca or call 250 974-5556.