WARNING: This story contains disturbing details.
A First Nation in northern Manitoba investigates what was once the region’s main Roman Catholic residential school.
Pimicikamak Cree Nation Chief David Monias says the community has identified 85 children who died there.
He said in a statement that St. Joseph’s was the main residential school in northern Manitoba and closed in 1969.
Monias adds that there were two schools operating in the community, also known as Cross Lake, which were both destroyed by fires.
The community says the investigation will involve ground-penetrating radar as well as collecting government, medical and religious data to develop a database of student names.
The community also plans to install a permanent monument to honor former students, including members who attended other residential schools.
Support is available to anyone affected by their residential school experience or recent reports.
A National Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line has been established to provide support to former students and those affected. People can access emotional referral and crisis services by calling the 24-hour National Crisis Line: 1-866-925-4419.