Hundreds of Alberta residential school children died after being given unpasteurized milk: Acimowin Opaspiw

By Logan Stein

WARNING: The following story contains details referring to atrocities committed at residential schools that some readers may find disturbing.

An advocacy organization investigating unmarked burial grounds in central Alberta says hundreds of children died after being given raw unpasteurized cow’s milk.

According to the report from the Acimowin Opaspiw Society, staff at the Blue Quills (Sacred Heart) Residential School in St. Paul, Alta. gave children the raw milk knowingly.

Drinking the milk led to hundreds of children contracting tuberculosis and ultimately dying, in what Acimowin Opaspiw calls a genocidal act.

The preliminary report also details instances wherein children witnessed the murder of other children at the school, such as watching classmates be pushed down flights of stairs by staff.

The school was originally located in Lac La Biche, then Saddle Lake, before moving to St. Paul in 1931. Blue Quills was closed in 1970 and became Canada’s first residence and school controlled by First Nations people.

The organization says volunteers recently found the skeletal remains of a child, and there are plans for more excavation work in the future.

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