New funding in search for unmarked graves at former Brantford residential school

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The Ontario government is providing $1.3 million in funding to help a survivors-led group in their search for unmarked graves at the former Mohawk Institute Indian Residential School in Brantford.

The Survivors' Secretariat at the Six Nations of the Grand River is coordinating the efforts to locate the bodies of Indigenous children.

The group is hoping the search will help bring survivors one step closer to reconciliation.

"This is important work, sacred work," said Diane Hill, a board member with the Survivors’ Secretariat, in the release. "We have not had the healthiest of relations, we hope this changes moving forward. We remind Ontario we need answers, that is what matters."

The federal government has already committed more than $10 million over three years for the search.

In a media release, the province said the new funds will "support research and document collection, technical expertise and purchase of equipment needed for ground searches and community and engagement with leadership and community members."

“Our government is committed to supporting the Survivors’ Secretariat’s complex work to uncover, document and share the truth about what happened at the Mohawk Institute Indian Residential School during its 136 years of operation,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Indigenous Affairs, in the release.

The school was run by the Anglican Church of Canada and the Government of Canada between 1885 and 1970.