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Regina Indian Industrial School Cemetery Receives Provincial Heritage Status

Released on July 26, 2017

The Government of Saskatchewan has designated the Regina Indian Industrial School (RIIS) Cemetery as the province’s 51st Provincial Heritage Property.  The cemetery grounds contain the graves of approximately 35 children from First Nations and Métis communities in Saskatchewan, Alberta and Manitoba who died while attending the school.

“The memory of those who died while attending these schools, and the lasting impact this period of history had on families and communities, needs to be remembered and understood,” Parks, Culture and Sport Minister Ken Cheveldayoff said. “By designating the Regina Indian Industrial School Cemetery as a Provincial Heritage Property, we are helping to ensure that these children, and the lives of those affected by residential schools, are remembered as we work toward truth and reconciliation.”

“We care deeply about our children buried at the Regina Indian Industrial School,” Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations Vice-Chief Heather Bear said.  “We care about why they died there. They deserved better than to be buried away from their families in unmarked graves.  Though their names may be lost to us now, by preserving and protecting the lands on which they're buried, we ensure they will not be forgotten.”

“The Regina Indian Industrial School Commemorative Association is pleased to be witnessing this historic moment of reconciliation,” Regina Indian Industrial School Commemorative Association member Lisa Hein said.  “We wish to thank all those who supported this endeavor and are humbled by your response.  We thank the City of Regina and the Province of Saskatchewan for joining us in the spirit of reconciliation in remembering the children of the RIIS and protecting this important heritage site.”

Situated on the east side of Pinkie Road, the RIIS operated from 1890 to 1910.  Upon closure, the building served as a jail and later a home for delinquent boys. It was destroyed by a fire in 1948.  For the past four years, the Regina Indian Industrial School Commemorative Association has held a memorial walk and feast to raise awareness of the site and to honour the children buried there. 

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For more information, contact:

Amanda Clark
Parks, Culture and Sport
Regina
Phone: (306) 787-6880
Email: amanda.clark@gov.sk.ca

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