Blue Quills (CTV News Edmonton video, Alison McKinnon, 24 January 2023)

Blue Quills (CTV News Edmonton video, Alison McKinnon, 24 January 2023)

NOTE: Below is my transcript of the video in the article.  See also the article by Sean Amato.

Announcer:  First Nations investigators in eastern Alberta say they have uncovered physical and documented evidence of a genocide.  A preliminary report released today details the investigation into the Blue Quills Residential School.  Alison McKinnon reports on what’s been found so far.

Alison McKinnon:  Flags wave in the Sacred Heart Cemetery, each indicating where First Nations investigators say children’s remains have been found.

Leah Redcrow:  We’re not here today to talk about GPR anomalies.  We’re here today to talk about genocide.

Alison McKinnon:  The Acimowin Opaspiw Society has been working to uncover details about missing children and unmarked burials at the former Blue Quills Residential School site.  The Society has partnered with the Catholic Church to uncover records of children who attended the school.

Leah Redcrow:  And we’re able to access those records because we are the living descendants of the parishioners.

Alison McKinnon:  The Society says a mass grave was found near the former school site.

Leah Redcrow:  We don’t how, exactly how many children are in the mass grave yet, uh but we do plan to excavate the mass grave uh as our investigation progresses.

Alison McKinnon:  Ground penetrating radar was used on the site last fall and investigators say they found multiple ground anomalies.

Leah Redcrow:  When it was accidentally excavated the excavator found a bunch of uh little skeletons piled on top of each other, and the, um actually the GPR also confirmed that it’s um only 20 centimetres below the surface of the ground.

Alison McKinnon:  The Society believes there’s more gravesites yet to be found, and many children who didn’t have school records are left unaccounted for.

Leah Redcrow:  It’s like they just disappeared off the face of the earth.

Alison McKinnon:  The Society is urging other First Nations to partner with the Catholic Church to gain access.  The next step will be excavating the site and trying to match children’s names with any remains found.

Alison McKinnon, CTV News near Saddle Lake.

Transcribed by Nina Green.