Missing Children

Current Reality

Justice Murray Sinclair, who heads the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, says the federal government stopped recording the deaths around 1920 after the chief medical officer at Indian Affairs suggested children were dying at an alarming rate.

Global News, May 31, 2015

Calls to Action

Call to Action # 71Chief coroners & vital stats agencies to provide records of deaths
Call to Action # 72Develop a National Residential School Student Death Register
Call to Action # 73Establish an online registry of residential school cemeteries
Call to Action # 74Informing families of child’s burial location and reburial
Call to Action # 75Identify, protect and commemorate residential school cemeteries
Call to Action # 76Principles for those involved in residential school cemeteries

Current and Ongoing Problems

Ongoing failure of Provincial Coroners to deliver records of deaths of Aboriginal children in the care of Residential School authorities.

As of 2014, as stated in “Honoring the Truth, Reconciling for the Future, Summary of the Final report of the TRC (July 23, 2015) in addition to the office in British Columbia, vital statistics offices in Alberta, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Saskatchewan, Yukon, and Nunavut had responded to the Commission’s request for records for the National Residential School Student Death Register.

The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation revealed the names of 2,800 children who died in residential schools in a ceremony in Gatineau, Quebec. A 50-metre long blood red cloth bearing the names of each child and the schools they attended was unfurled and carried through a crowd of Indigenous children, elders and chiefs, residential school survivors and others. Ry Moran NCTR Director, says an additional 1,600 also died but remain unnamed. There were also many hundred who simply vanished, undocumented in any records so far uncovered. (Toronto Star). In total, 4,037 Indigenous children are listed in the Memorial Register:

# of DeathsDescription
1,953positively identified
365additional names added to memorial register after additional investigation
477under investigation
1, 242 known to have passed away but whose names are not yet known

Brandon Indian Residential School: Brandon, Manitoba

Aug. 28, 2018 – the unmarked graves of 51 children who died at the Brandon Indian Residential School are physically located on a Recreational Vehicle (RV) campsite that now owns the former school property.

Grand Chief Arlen Dumas of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) wants the city of Brandon to protect the unmarked graves that are now part of a RV campsite. “History hasn’t been properly acknowledged when it comes to the Brandon Indian Residential School,” explained Grand Chief Dumas. “We need to remember these children by ensuring that each one of them has a marked grave.”

The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs encourages the City of Brandon and the current owners of the Turtle Crossing RV Park to move forward on Call to Action # 75 from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada

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