The discovery of ground anomalies in Minegoziibe Anishinabe (Pine Creek First Nation) has triggered an investigation, say Manitoba RCMP.
The anomalies were found by a private contractor using ground-penetrating radar. The company was hired by the community over the summer to search the site of a former residential school.
The initial data from the search suggested the anomalies fit some of the criteria of buried remains.
Following the results of the search, a meeting was held between Minegoziibe Anishinabe representatives and RCMP to discuss looking into the potential criminality of the findings.
“It is our responsibility to ensure that a thorough, methodical and culturally sensitive investigation takes place. It is the RCMP’s role to collect evidence in order to provide the answers sought by the community,” said superintendent Rob Lasson.
RCMP say they’ll be working closely with the community throughout the investigation to ensure it’ll be conducted in a culturally sensitive manner.
“The Minegoziibe Anishinabe have ventured down a pathway towards identifying and sharing our difficult truth. We do this for the future well-being of our children. In this effort we are looking at establishing relationships of respect and collaboration but ever mindful of the difficulties we have survived through,” said Chief Derek Nepinak.
The First Nation is located on the shores of Lake Winnipegosis near Camperville, east of Swan River.
The Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line (1-866-925-4419) is available 24 hours a day for anyone experiencing pain or distress as a result of their residential school experience.
– with files from The Canadian Press