Canadian law enforcement officials in Manitoba have said they have launched a 10-year investigation into allegations of sexual abuse of indigenous children at a local school, while a similar investigation was launched in Saskatchewan.
The two revelations follow a series of scandalous discover of unmarked graves of indigenous children in or near Catholic Catholic week-long Catholic school sites on national anthems.
Manitoba police at the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) said its Major Crime Services was conducting an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment at Fort Alexander Residential School.
An in-depth investigation, he said, “means collecting information to determine what happened and the extent of the incident.”
The Manitoba RCMP said the allegations were “historically natural” and investigators traveled to Ottawa to look at records kept at the school “to identify anyone involved” in cases involving indigenous children.
Investigators teamed up with more than 700 people across North America in an “effort to locate any victims or witnesses” and a 2011 criminal investigation was launched. The investigating team received statements from witnesses and victims.
“More than 680 investigative projects have been identified and completed so far and more than 80 RCMP investigators have participated in the investigation,” Manitoba RCMP said.
Reported that the RCMP of Saskatchewan province was investigating a historic complaint in a similar case that took place at Timber Bay Residential School.
The Canadian residential schools in question – run by the Catholic Church from the late 19th century to the second half of the 20th century – used to board native children.
Unmarked graves, numbering 215, were found for the first time at a school in Kamloops, British Columbia in June. This episode was followed by a series of similar discoveries elsewhere, with the total number of indigenous children’s graves found to be more than 1,100 to date.