Historic human remains found at dam site: Peguis First Nation Chief

A First Nation chief said the discovery of human remains at the St. Andrews Lock and Dam site in Lockport, Man. is further evidence of the dark history between Indigenous People and colonial policy.

In a statement issued on Friday, Peguis First Nation Chief Glenn Hudson confirmed the skeletal remains of two people were discovered at the site – and work has been stopped as a result.

According to the statement, Peguis First Nation contacted provincial archeologists to recover the remains and determine where the bones should be buried.

The statement said the skeletal remains of a teenager were discovered first, along with artifacts like bison bones and birch bark.

“It is clear from the burial site that this young person was loved and honoured at the time of their death,” Chief Hudson wrote.

Peguis First Nation said initial investigations suggest the person had tuberculosis. The statement goes on to note scholars have said infectious diseases like tuberculosis have “amounted to a ‘state-sponsored attack on Indigenous communities’ whose effects ‘haunt us as a nation still.’”

The statement said archaeologists will remain on-site to supervise further testing at the dam and to oversee any further excavation.

Shelly Glover, a candidate in the provincial PC party’s leadership race, issued a release on Saturday offering her condolences to Peguis First Nation members.

“We share the sorrow and heartbreak of Peguis First Nation over this discovery. The path to reconciliation includes hearing painful truth such as this. We must continue to walk this path side-by-side with Manitoba Indigenous people.”

CTV News has reached out to the province for comment.