"Chief and council revealed preliminary findings of their investigation into the former St. Joseph's Mission Residential School and nearby Onward Ranch based on a probe of 14 hectares of land from 470 hectares that have been identified as areas of interest.
Whitney Spearing, who led the investigation team for the Williams Lake First Nation (WLFN), said the 93 sites were identified using ground-penetrating radar, along with aerial and terrestrial lidar (Light Detection and Ranging). She said some of them may be connected to a known historical cemetery, but 50 appear to have no association with it."
"The team heard stories of disappearances, murders, systematic torture, rape and starvation of children, according to Sellars. There were accounts of children who were tied to boards and lashed, and newborn babies fathered by priests tossed into the school's incinerator.
Some members of the church's leadership, including Father Harold McIntee, were later convicted of sexual offences against the students."
St. Joseph's Mission Residential School, located near the core of the Williams Lake First Nation community, was torn down 26 years ago, but left a painful legacy for survivors and their families. (Indian Residential School Resources)