July 16th, 2024

Blood Tribe looking to identify children who went missing from residential schools

By Alexandra Noad - Lethbridge Herald Local Journalism Initiative Reporter on July 3, 2024.

The Blood Tribe is asking for assistance from residential school survivors as it embarks on an endeavour to identify children who may have gone missing or died while attending residential school on the reserve as well as at two off-reserve locations.

The Blood Tribe says they are collecting information from tribe children who were taken to St. Mary’s Residential School, St. Paul’s Residential School, St. Joseph’s Industrial School and St. Dunstan’s Industrial School. They will record testimonials to not only identify the missing children, but also support ground search efforts for any unmarked burials.

The IRS Missing Children and Burial Sites Projects has four components: Archival Research, Community Research, Site Work and Commemoration.

The Blood Tribe will host community meetings to provide more details about the community interview process which will be announced at a later date.

Residential school survivors are asked to call Darnel Tailfeathers, Blood Tribe Tribal Government at 403-360-8544 to schedule an interview.

The Blood Tribe hopes the efforts of this project will offer some closure for their people.

“It is important that this project proceed with a rigorous and systematic approach, adhering to scientific methodology. The work needs to be meticulous and conducted professionally to ensure the thoroughness and to withstand scrutiny,” says the Tribe.

“While challenging, it is an essential endeavour to confront the enduring impact of residential schools on our community and address its inter-generational effects. Hopefully, this effort will offer some closure to this painful chapter in our history. The research outcomes will also play a vital role in preserving crucial Blood Tribe history, to be safeguarded and passed down to future generations of Kainai children and all Canadians. “

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