The provincial government is allocating $8 million to research undocumented deaths and burials at residential schools.
Premier Jason Kenney announced the funding on Wednesday which will be provided through grants to Indigenous communities and groups wanting to look into the past injustices.
This comes a few weeks after the remains of 215 Indigenous children were found buried at a Kamloops residential school.
“All Albertans stand with Indigenous communities across the country who live with the legacy of Canada’s residential school program,” said Kenney.
“A great deal of work has been done by First Nations and others to help identify remains and undocumented burial sites, but there is much more work that still needs to be done.”
The funds can be used to help gather oral histories, community engagement to determine how to proceed with a burial site, for ground-penetrating radars and other technologies to explore potential unmarked burial sites, to hire experts experienced in locating human burials, as well as maintenance and commemorative work which includes installation or restoration of grave markers, placement of memorials, and commemoration events.
“I am glad to see the province working in partnership with First Nations to heal the atrocities of the past and work on bringing our lost children back home where they belong,” added Marlene Poitras, Regional Chief, Assembly of First Nations Alberta Association.
“While there is still much work ahead, this is a positive step forward and I commend the actions taken today.”
According to the Fort McMurray Today, Fort Chipewyan leaders are planning to search for potential unmarked graves at the site of the Holy Angels Residential School.