The abandoned gravesite has not been in use for over 100 years, but the memories of what it stands for remain. Officials with the City of Regina say the cemetery that holds remains from the former Regina Indian Industrial School will be protected, even as a city expansion includes the site, CBCNews reports.
Committee member Don Black told CBC on February 11 that previous attempts to protect the site have been uncovered.
“They wanted the federal government to take some responsibility for cleaning up the site, maintaining it, honouring the lives of the kids that were in there,” Black said. “That was from 1922. We have no record of the response, but looking out at it there wasn’t much of a response.”
The CBC reports that 22 graves are believed to be on the site, including three for children of the first principal, Rev. J. A. McLeod, their stone marker was found on the site.
City officials said they will consult with First Nations and other levels of government as to how to proceed. A report on possible options is expected by the end of this year.
The Regina Indian Industrial School was one of many efforts to encourage assimilation of First Nations people—it operated between 1891 and 1910 as such before it was converted to a jail.