On Friday, the site of an old Indian residential school just west of Regina was examined for any pieces of history that may be located on the land.
A small cemetery for children marks one end of the site. It will remain preserved and protected from future development, but houses will likely soon be popping up the tract of land that was once home to the school.
Two archaeology experts from Stantec Consulting and WSP Canada are doing the surveying free of charges. Lisa Hein, with WSP, said she has no idea what they might find.
“I’m hopeful, but because we are not going to be on the actual school property as it once stood, I don’t think we have as good a chance of finding any artifacts, but we will do our best,” she said.
The school, known as the Regina Indian Industrial School, operated from 1891 to 1910. In 1911 it was converted to a jail. A year later, it became a boy’s detention home that operated until it was destroyed by a fire in 1948.
Local Indian Bands have formed a commemorative association in order to preserve the grave site of the children. It is believed 20 to 40 children are buried there. The president of the association, Janine Windolph, says it is important to preserve and remember the past.
“Even though things will be built and developed in the future, it is important to remember the site and even the pre-history,” she said. “This is the land the buffalo roamed on, we are all here together and it’s important that we remember this land and how we all connect to it.”
It will take just one day to do the archaeology study. It is basically a grid walk through the area using shovels and metal detectors to find what may lie beneath the surface. Any items located will be turned over to the commemorative association.