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Third Indigenous child's body to be exhumed in Quebec after 2021 law to help families

People carry the memorial cloth banner during a Remembering the Children event marking the third annual National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, on Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Spencer Colby People carry the memorial cloth banner during a Remembering the Children event marking the third annual National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, on Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Spencer Colby
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The body of a Cree child who attended a Quebec residential school and died in 1966 will be exhumed at her parents' request so that her remains can be buried in her community.

The disinterment request is the third since Quebec passed a law in 2021 intended to help Indigenous families learn more about the deaths and disappearances of their children in provincial health-care and social service institutions.

Her body is being exhumed almost 60 years after she died in a Quebec hospital and was buried in the cemetery near the residential school without the knowledge of her parents, who only learned of her death months later.

Awacak, a group helping Indigenous families learn about the fate of their children in Quebec's health-care system, says the family wants her remains to be buried with her relatives.

Last year, the remains of two Innu children were exhumed from a Quebec cemetery to help give closure to families who had long-standing questions about the identities of bodies they buried in 1970.

Awacak spokesperson Françoise Ruperthouse says DNA analysis has been completed for one of the exhumed boys but not the other.

She says the completed testing confirmed that the boy was in fact the child of one of the families that had raised questions.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 18, 2024.

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