Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Cemeteries near residential schools: work continues

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Tony Vaughn
Tony Vaughn
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The relatively quick reaction to news of the results came after several years of inaction and passive resistance to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls for action, most of which have yet to be worked on.

Few calls to action produced results

Sociologist Eva Jewell Anishinaabekwe and non-Aboriginal historian Ian Mosby calculated that in December 2021, only 11 of 94 calls to action led to results.

Results will vary depending on how you follow your calls to action. For example, many, including the Métis team, Papaschase and British archaeologist Kisha Supernant, advise research teams in residential schools to beware. many companies who have been inundated with offers of service since the announcement of archaeological research funding.

Most of these companies do not have enough experience to do this kind of required work and often charge very high fees. There is a real risk of exploitation, as well as distorted results due to the lack of rigor.

Cree students at their desks with their teacher in a classroom, All Saints Residential School, Lac La Ronge, Saskatchewan, March 1945. Photo: Bud Glunz, National Film Board, Photo Library, Library and Archives Canada, PA-134110

More research

However, archaeological research using ground-penetrating radar and other techniques has its limitations. Yes, they let the voices of the boarding school survivors be heard and believed, but the real answers won’t come from these technologies.

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