Canadian bishops attend grave search at Anglican residential school site

Posted Dec 1, 2021

[Anglican Journal] Despite its pristine location in Saskatchewan’s boreal forest on the edge of the Canadian Shield, the town of La Ronge, Saskatchewan, (population: ca 5,700) has had its share of pain — experiencing, since 2015, a suicide crisis and evacuation for wildfires.

Recently this town, about 250 km north of Prince Albert, has been facing a new cause for grief: the discovery of unmarked graves of Indigenous pupils who died at a local former residential school — this one operated by the Anglican Church of Canada.

The Lac La Ronge Indian Residential School opened in 1907. It burned down in 1920 and was thereafter replaced with a new school, All Saints. According to Indian Affairs records cited in a University of Regina profile of the school, a 1937 government inspector expressed concern at how poorly the children were being fed. The inspector also described overcrowding of classrooms and dormitories, in which students with tuberculosis slept alongside their classmates. All Saints burned to the ground in 1947 after two boys set it on fire, and its students were then transferred to another school.

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