Kenney to announce money to research Alberta unmarked burial sites and undocumented deaths at residential schools


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Premier Jason Kenney and Minister of Indigenous Relations Rick Wilson will announce funding for research into unmarked burial sites and undocumented deaths at residential schools in Alberta at a press conference Wednesday at 11 a.m.

The government has been promising money since May in the wake of the discovery of the remains of 215 children in unmarked graves at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School.

There are 25 recognized residential school sites in Alberta, the most of any province in Canada. Experts have warned that the work in Alberta will be “monumental,” expensive and could take decades.

Saskatchewan has said it’s going to spend $2 million and Ontario committed $10 million towards provincial efforts to investigate and honour the deaths of children who went missing at residential schools.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) report said that there were at least 821 children, named and unnamed, who died in residential schools in Alberta between 1867 and 2000 — the most of any province or territory — although there are no definitive, reliable figures.

The federal government has made the remaining $27 million of $33.8-million first pledged in its 2019 budget available to the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation to work on the National Residential School Student Death Register.

-With files from Lisa Johnson

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