Statistics on ground search at Mohawk Institute coming at end of August

The search for hidden graves at the former Mohawk Institute Residential School in Brantford continues, with some statistics expected to be released at the end of the month.

“We are still in the data collection stage at Mohawk Institute,” said Tabitha Curley, spokesperson for the Six Nations Survivors’ Secretariat, which is overseeing the search of the grounds. “After a set number of grids are completed, the data will be sent for forensic review. It will not be until after that time that we would be able to identify any remains. This will take quite a bit of time as the search area is quite large – over 600 acres.”

The secretariat has estimated it will take about two years to complete the investigation.

The search for potential hidden graves at the former residential school began last fall after survivors made a formal criminal complaint regarding the deaths of children at the Mohawk Institute.

About 52 children died while attending the Mohawk Institute according to information from the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation but police have said they don’t know where the children were buried.

The Mohawk Institute was Canada’s oldest residential school, operating from 1831 to 1970.

The search was spurred by the discovery of 200 hidden graves using ground penetrating radar at a former residential school in Kamloops, B.C., in May 2021. Since the shocking discovery, thousands of hidden graves containing child remains have been found at former residential schools across Canada.

The land surrounding the former Mohawk Institute and outlying areas are being searched using ground penetrating radar.

It is not the GPR collectors (the people on the ground) who will be analyzing the data for anomalies conducive of child burials but rather an external team, said Curley, adding “there is a great deal of planning that goes into conducting the search and analyzing the data.”

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