Residential school cemetery in Regina gets provincial heritage designation
REGINA — Along a dusty gravel road on the edge of Regina is a residential school cemetery that is now Saskatchewan’s first such cemetery to be designated as a provincial heritage site. Culture Minister Ken Cheveldayoff formally recognized the cemetery today, saying it will be protected and respected for generations to come.
There’s just one headstone in the cemetery for the children of the first principal of the Regina Indian Industrial School.
However, archeologists believe dozens of Indigenous children are buried there too, in unmarked graves. Heather Bear, vice-chief of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations, says no one knows who these children were, but they were loved and had families who grieved their loss.
Elder Noel Starblanket says the children have laid forgotten for many years and ``it now falls upon us to remember them.’’
``For now, this is our way of saying that we will remember them,’’ Starblanket said Wednesday.
``In our spiritual way, what we do, we ask those ones, even in their innocence, to pray for us up there and we ask them to bring us good fortune to our people, cause they’re able to do that now in the spirit world.’’