Statement on preliminary findings of investigation at Williams Lake residential school 

SKEENA-BULKLEY VALLEY – The announcement of the preliminary findings from the first phase of the St. Joseph’s Mission Residential School investigation in B.C. is heartbreaking, said Green Party of Canada critic for reconciliation and Indigenous Affairs, Adeana Young.

Ninety-three "potential human burials" have been identified at the site of the former residential school, which operated for more than 100 years. It is the latest chapter in the evolving story of the discovery of children’s remains at former residential school sites across Canada. Williams Lake First Nation set out to investigate the site following the May 27, 2021 announcement by Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation that the remains of 215 children were found buried at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School. 

“I want the community of Williams Lake First Nation to know that we share their sadness as the truths of these losses are revealed,” said Ms. Young. “Many families were affected by the St. Joseph’s Mission Residential School. The investigation into these sites and the impact the Indian residential schools have had on communities continues.

“This is a time of emotional turmoil and grief for Indigenous people in Canada. We call on the government of Canada and all Canadians to attend to their duty of eliminating racism and working towards a true and just reconciliation that redresses these historic wrongs.” 

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John Chenery