Unmarked graves found in Shubenacadie, N.S., not linked to former residential school, search finds


A team of Nova Scotia researchers has confirmed they were unable to find any unmarked graves for students who died while attending the largest residential school in Atlantic Canada. The Sipekne’katik First Nation issued a statement Wednesday saying the search of the former Shubenacadie Residential School site north of Halifax included the use of ground-penetrating radar and aerial laser scanning. The survey team’s leader, Dr. Jonathan Fowler, said the search included scans of the surrounding farmland. Fowler, an associate professor with Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, said evidence of unmarked graves was identified, but it predated the 1930 foundingof the residential school by about 100 years and is likely connected to former landowners. The First Nation’s chief, Mike Sack, told members of the local Mi’kmaq community the search will resume if new information comes forward. “As we said at the outset, our best hope would be to find no evidence of graves as we continue to grapple with the effects of the residential school system on our communities,” Sack said. “We know that people need closure and healing.”

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