In western Canada, an indigenous community found 182 unmarked graves on the grounds of a former residential school run by Catholic churches in British Columbia. This is the third such discovery in the country in just over a month.
(An archival photo of the Kootenay Indian Residential School, Photo Credit: The Georgia Straight)
The school was operated through much of its history by the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate. It is a missionary congregation of the Catholic Church founded in 1816 by a French Priest Saint Eugène de Mazenod.
"It is believed that the remains of these 182 souls are from the member Bands of the ktunaza nation, neighbouring First Nations communities, & the community of aqam," the Lower Kootenay Band said in a statement.
The residential school system, which was set up by the Canadian Government and administered by Catholic churches, had forcibly assimilated indigenous children into society. These schools were operated from the 1880s to the late 1990s.
The leaders of indigenous communities have long sought the Pope's apology for the Catholic Church's role in operating such residential schools.