The federal government announced a $4.88 million investment for the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations for the research and initial ceremonies related to burial sites of children who died at Indian Residential Schools in Saskatchewan.
The funding comes from $27.1 million set aside by the federal government, committed to Calls to Action 74 to 76.
The funds will also help communities gather necessary information to assist with ground penetrating radar work.
FSIN Chief Bobby Cameron says in a news release that ceremony, research, and important engagement with residential school survivors, knowledge keepers and their descendants has been taking place over the last few weeks, and essential healing supports have been provided to survivors who are reliving the tragedies of their experiences with residential schools.
“There are hundreds of survivors and descendants that have provided testimony of classmates that did not return home from residential schools and sanitariums across the province. GPR teams are being dispatched to several sites across the province in the hopes of locating these children to bring closure to the survivors, their descendants, and their communities. It is a positive step towards healing and reconciliation for Government to finally give these families and communities the closure they deserve and peace to the thousands of little souls in the unmarked graves surrounding these schools.” Cameron said.
Earlier this month, the provincial government committed $2 million for residential school burial site research.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission estimates that approximately 20 federal residential schools operated in Saskatchewan from the 1880s to the 1990s.