Community update on the work taking place at the former Crowfoot School location

Office of Chief and Council

Government of Siksika

P.O. Box 1100 Siksika, AB T0J 3W0 (403) 734-5109 Ι Toll Free 1-800-551-5724

August 3, 2021

Work taking place at the former Crowfoot School location

Clean up and renovations will begin this week at the former Chief Crowfoot School location that will include a thorough clean-up of the site, demolition of old buildings and the construction of a much-needed community centre. The work will begin August 3rd under the lead of Siksika Resource Developments Ltd and will include several phases. The first phase is primarily demolition work and will include asbestos clean-up areas, removal and organization of equipment from the school and hauling disposable and hazardous materials to appropriate land fill. It is expected to wrap up in early September.

This work will also serve to prepare the site for the upcoming Indian Residential School search for unmarked graves that will take place in Siksika in the coming months and will include several locations including this location. Siksika Nation Chief and Council and Siksika Health Services are working in collaboration with the University of Alberta to carry out the Ground Penetrating Radar work required to complete the search and are taking the necessary steps to ensure these sites are adequately prepared. Blackfoot Construction Contracting will work closely with Dr. Kisha Supernant, Director of the Institute of Prairie Technology with the University of Alberta in the clean-up efforts to ensure the area will not be compromised or negatively impact the Residential school work.

On June 30 and July 1, 2021, Dr. Kisha Supernant, Dr. Ave Dersch, and William (Liam) Wadsworth, all from the Institute of Prairie and Indigenous Archaeology at the University of Alberta, were invited to come down to Siksika to assess areas around former residential schools and agency schools. The purpose of the visit was to get familiar with the different locations, to see what remote sensing methods (including GPR and drone-based sensors) would work, and to make recommendations to the Nation about how to approach searching these areas to locate unmarked graves. No remote sensing data was formally collected on this visit.

On July 28 and 29, 2021, Dr. Supernant returned to Siksika to discuss ways to move forward, as well as visited the area where some construction work will be happening at the old Crowfoot elementary school and to see how well the GPR might work in that area. Again, no formal remote sensing data was collected.

Video Update by Chief Ouray Crowfoot