October 28, 2019

Battleford Industrial School Cemetery Receives Provincial Heritage Property Designation

The Government of Saskatchewan has designated the Battleford Industrial School Cemetery as the province’s newest Provincial Heritage Property.

“Through this designation, we recognize an important story in Saskatchewan’s history,” Parks, Culture and Sport Minister Gene Makowsky said.  “Commemorating those who lost their lives, language and culture through residential schools is an important step for our province on the path toward reconciliation.”

Nominated for Provincial Heritage Property designation by the Battleford Industrial School Commemorative Association, the cemetery holds provincial significance for its association with the Government of Canada’s residential school system and its impacts on Indigenous people.

The cemetery, located south of Battleford, is the resting place for at least 74 children who died while attending the Battleford Indian Industrial School between 1883 and 1914.  Today, the cemetery site is an important place of remembrance for descendants of those who attended the school, and one where future generations learn about Canadian and Indigenous history.

“This cemetery is an important place for all community members to better understand the inter-generational impacts of the residential school system,” Battleford Industrial School Commemorative Association member Benedict Feist said.  “It’s a place to honour children who were separated from their families and communities.  Children whose language, culture, Indigenous identity and in some cases, lives were stolen at schools across Canada.”

Provincial Heritage Property designations play an integral role in the preservation of Saskatchewan’s heritage.  Many of these treasured historic places, including the Battleford Industrial School Cemetery, are located on private land and not open to the public without permission from the owner.

For more information about Provincial Heritage Properties, visit www.saskatchewan.ca/provincial-heritage-property.