Respecting the grief of communities in and connected to the Cowessess First Nation

Please note this piece has details that may make it difficult for some to read.

First Nation Cowessess Chief Cadmus Delorme made the announcement on Thursday June 24, 2021 that 751 unmarked graves have been found in a cemetery near the former Marieval Indian Residential School in what is commonly called Saskatchewan. We wish to acknowledge the loss of each of these souls, as well as the meaning of these losses to each and every family and community member. We extend our sympathies to those who are mourning and urge all in Canada to reflect on the meaning of these losses.

We know from the work of the Truth and Reconciliation commission and directly from residential school survivors, Elders and from knowledge keepers, that this  won’t be the last time that Canada’s colonial history is exposed in such a way, along with the horrors of the residential school system. The attempts to kill off Indigenous people in culture, connections, body and spirit began when non-Indigenous people arrived on Turtle Island, and continues to the present day. As an organization, we acknowledge our responsibility to witness the multiple losses and traumas, and our work to challenge and restructure the systems that created and perpetuates them.


Evin Jones, Executive Director, on behalf of PAN staff and Board of Directors


National Indian Residential School Crisis Line: 1 866 925-4419

Mental health supports and resource list from the National Association of Friendship Centres


In the News

751 unmarked graves discovered at former Marieval Indian Residential School on Cowessess First Nation (Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations and Cowessess First Nation)

Horrific discoveries of unmarked graves demands urgent action and support from allies says national Chief (Assembly of First Nations)

Honouring 751 innocent lives by showing the full picture of residential schools across Canada (National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation)

‘This is Cowessess First Nation’s moment of our truth’ says Chief Cadmus Delorme (APTN)


Truth and Reconciliation resources

National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation

Where are the Children Buried?

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action, section on Missing Children and Burial Information (see 71-76)

Canada’s Residential Schools: Missing Children and Unmarked Burials. The Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, Volume 4