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LHF Demands Justice and Action to Address the 93 Unmarked Graves Found at the St. Joseph’s Mission Residential School

The Legacy of Hope Foundation Demands Justice and Action to Address the 93 Unmarked Graves Found at the St. Joseph’s Mission Residential School

OTTAWA, ON, CANADA, February 4, 2022 / -- The Legacy of Hope Foundation is devastated and appalled to learn about the 93 unmarked graves that were detected at the St. Joseph’s Mission Residential School in Williams Lake First Nation. It is incredibly likely that these graves belong to some of the countless Indigenous children who were forced to attend this school, which ran from 1891 to 1981. These 93 Indigenous children’s lives did not receive the honour and acknowledgment that they were deserving of, and they underscore a need for further accountability and investigation into the issue of unmarked children’s graves at the remaining Residential Schools within Canada.

Over 150,000 Indigenous children were taken from their loved ones and communities, and forced to attend Residential Schools, which were established by the Canadian Government and run by various churches. The purpose of these schools was to eradicate Indigenous identity, which was to be accomplished by strictly forbidding the use of Indigenous languages and their connection with family, community, identity and cultural practices, and shaming children for being Indigenous. Within the walls of these schools, children of various ages were abused physically, emotionally, spiritually, and sexually, and had their basic needs neglected. This extreme cruelty and neglect irrevocably damaged 7 generations of Indigenous Peoples throughout the more than 160 years that Residential Schools operated.

“This terrible discovery presents further opportunity for the Government of Canada to work with Survivors, Intergenerational Survivors, and the LHF to educate Canadians about the devastating and ongoing impacts of Residential Schools within Canada. Given what Survivors and other evidence has told us, it is likely that there remain more undiscovered graves located at these schools, and thus, more devastation awaiting the families and communities of the children forced to attend these schools. It is imperative that concrete and sustained action be taken in order to honour the lives that were lost, to deliver proper justice, to address ongoing racism and to promote healing among Survivors, their families, and their communities,” said Teresa Edwards, Executive Director and In-House Legal Counsel of the LHF.

The LHF is a national, Indigenous-led, charitable organization that has addressed racism and promoted healing in Canada for over 21 years. The LHF’s goal is to educate Canadians about the history and existing intergenerational impacts of the Residential and Day School Systems and subsequent Sixties Scoop on Indigenous (First Nations, Inuit, and Métis) Survivors, their descendants, and their communities to promote hope and healing in Canada. The LHF works to encourage people to address discrimination and injustices in order to contribute to the equity, dignity, and respectful treatment of Indigenous Peoples and to foster Reconciliation.

The LHF has more than 25 educational exhibitions that promote awareness of Indigenous history that are free to borrow and LHF is working on making exhibitions available online. The LHF also has curricula for K-12 and for adults along with Activity Guides, Workshops and Training and Podcasts, all aimed at educating Canadians about Indigenous history and the shared history of Residential and Day Schools, the Sixties Scoop, etc. The LHF works to develop empathy and understanding so as to eliminate racism and foster Reconciliation in Canada.

For Media Inquiries – Contact:
Teresa Edwards, B.A., LL.B./J.D., Executive Director & In-House Legal Counsel Legacy of Hope Foundation Tel: 613-237-4806 ext.303

Jane Hubbard
Legacy of Hope Foundation
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