‘My heart sank’: Indigenous activist on discovery of 751 unmarked graves in Saskatchewan

CALGARY (CityNews) – A Grassroots activist says her community is in mourning, following the shocking discovery of 751 unmarked graves at the former Marieval Residential School in Saskatchewan.

Hundreds more are known to found across the country, with thousands left to be found.

RELATED: 751 unmarked graves found at former residential school in Saskatchewan

“It hit me so hard,” Autumn EagleSpeaker said. “But I knew that I needed to prepare myself emotionally, for the aftermath, for what we’re seeing unfold. And that’s just it is that we as First Nations people have been made to be resilient. We’ve been forced to be resilient and strong and to endure all of these horrific tragedies.”

The director at the Iniskim Centre in Calgary says he is preparing himself emotionally for future discoveries.

“I often think about those unnamed children who have lost forever and would like to see them reunited in some way with their community,” said John Fischer.

RELATED: Residential school graves like Kamloops, Cowessess expected to be found in Alberta

Fischer says the searches are criticaladding his grandmother attended Medieval School and he is from Cowississ First Nation.

“The grief has been there for many years. It’s not new.”

According to Fischer, it’s each Canadian’s responsibility to educate themselves on the nation’s history and how it affects us to this day.

“Residential schools in Canada are a thing of the past. What is not a thing of the past is the trauma and the legacy that they have on Indigenous people.”

“You can be an active ally and that means making the space for people, learning the history, speaking out against racism,” said EagleSpeaker.

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