Crowdfunding helps Vancouver Island First Nation search for remains of missing children


VICTORIA – On the west coast of British Columbia, a crowdfunding campaign will see a First Nation excavate the grounds of two former residential schools.

The Ahousaht First Nation, based on Flores Island near Tofino, British Columbia, will accept $ 75,000 to launch a campaign to search the grounds of two former schools in its territory.

“The people who really care are supporting this,” said Ahousaht chief-elect Greg Louie.

“People we don’t know, people who really care, are contributing.”

The Vancouver Island First Nations fundraising campaign was launched following the discovery of Kamloops Indian Residential School in June.

Find our lost childrenWas originally intended to raise $ 25,000. As of Friday, the campaign raised an impressive $ 154,704.

Over 2,000 donors donated money to help pay for ground penetrating radar work.

Ahousaht is the first island nation to accept a donation from the GoFundMe initiative.

The nation is currently seeking a qualified employee to oversee research at the former Ahousaht Residential School and Christie School (Clayoquot / Kakawis).

“We’ve heard there have been deaths, so we want to bring some determination to our community,” Louie told CTV News.

Ahousaht is not the only one who wants to search the grounds of the old notorious schools.

In Alert Bay, British Columbia, the ‘Namgis First Nation started their own project.

“The Namgis Council of First Nations decided to implement a project to determine if there are also unmarked cemeteries around the site of St. Michael’s Residential School which remained active at Alert Bay from 1894 to 1974,” he said. the nation said in a statement posted to its Facebook page.

The Tseshaht First Nation near Port Alberni also got the ball rolling with a project to excavate the grounds of their now demolished school.

Tseshaht executives told CTV News their project will be fully funded by the federal and provincial governments.

Chief Council. Ken Watts says he doesn’t believe the public or First Nations should have to pay a dime to get this job done.

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