Cowessess First Nation to announce ‘shocking’ discovery of gravesite at old residential school

Cowessess First Nation

Warning: This story has disturbing details about the Marieval Indian Residential School. If you are feeling triggered, the National Indian Residential School Crisis Hotline can be reached at 1-866-925-4419.


Cowessess First Nation in Saskatchewan says it has discovered hundreds of unmarked graves at the site of the former Marieval Indian Residential School.

The First Nation, located 160 km east of Regina, will be holding a joint news conference with the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations on Thursday morning to discuss “the horrific and shocking discovery.”

A media advisory for the event says “the number of unmarked graves will be the most significantly substantial to date in Canada.”

The news comes roughly one month after Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Nation announced that a preliminary study reports the discovery 215 unmarked graves at the site of the old Kamloops Indian Residential School in B.C.

Following that discovery, the federal government announced a $27 million fund to help pay for searches at schools across the country.

The Marieval Indian Residential School operated from 1899 to 1997.

According to the release from the FSIN, the community and former school site are closed because of COVID-19 precautions.

FSIN says there will be images and video shared at the news conference Thursday.

“We ask that all members of the media please be respectful of survivors, descendants and the communities affected by this discovery and respect privacy at this time,” the release said.

APTN News will carry the press conference live at 10 a.m. CT on its social media channels.