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Unmarked grave discovered at site of former Mohawk Institute Residential School

The grave belongs to a youth under the age of 14; at this time officials are unsure whether the youth attended the former residential school
Mohawk Institute Residential School
Children's shoes displayed on the steps of the former site of the Mohawk Institute. CITYNEWS

An unmarked grave of a youth under the age of 14 has been discovered on the grounds of the former Mohawk Institute Residential School in Brantford.

Beverly Jacobs, Indigenous Human Rights Monitor, Survivors’ Secretariat confirms to CityNews the unmarked grave was located near Glenwood Drive when workers were digging for a telephone line in August.

Jacobs said at this time, they do not know if the youth attended the former Mohawk Residential School.

The Chief Coroner Dirk Huyer is now investigating the discovery and a police task force made up of Six Nations Police, Brantford Police, and OPP have been made aware of the discovery.

Chief Mark Hill of the Six Nations of the Grand River is calling for a “thorough, respectful, and culturally-sensitive investigation” into the remains found.

“The news that a child’s body has been found within close proximity of the Mohawk Institute is a solemn reminder of the work that lies ahead to find our lost children and bring them home,” said Chief Hill. “This discovery underscores the importance of ensuring that all human remains found within close proximity of any former Indian Residential School site be deemed of forensic interest and investigated accordingly.”

The task force will wait for the cause of death before beginning a criminal investigation.

Ground penetrating radar training has also begun and a search will begin once it is complete.

For those in need of emotional support, the following resources are available:

Hope for Wellness Help Line offers immediate mental health counselling and crisis intervention to all Indigenous peoples across Canada. Experienced helpline counsellors, many of whom are Indigenous, can find wellness supports available in your area. You can reach this help line at: 1-855-242-3310 toll-free, 24/7.

The Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line (1-866-925-4419) is available 24 hours a day for anyone experiencing pain or distress as a result of their residential school experience.

The Indigenous Victim Services at Six Nations Line (1-866-964-5920). After hours & weekends: 1-866-445-2204. Help is available to people living in Brantford, Hamilton or the Six Nations community.

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