An archeological dig at the site of alleged mass graves of Indian children at a former Manitoba church-run boarding school has found no human remains.

Chief Derek Nepinak of the Minegoziibe Anishinabe tribe said a team of archeologists working with the police last month were not able to detect any “evidence of human remains” under the Our Lady of Seven Sorrows Catholic Church, the site of the Pine Creek residential school.  

Allegations of mass graves on the grounds of former Indian Residential Schools were publicized by the media in the spring of 2021 when ground-penetrating radar surveys near the sites of former Indian Residential Schools uncovered anomalies that appeared to be consistent with children’s graves. In the nationwide protests that followed, more than 60 Catholic and Anglican churches were vandalized or destroyed, and statues were pulled down in virtually every major city.

The surveys would help spawn the creation of a new holiday, Truth and Reconciliation Day, prompt an official visit by Pope Francis and result in Canadian flags being kept at half-mast for a record-breaking five consecutive months. 

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in July 2021 visited the site of 751 alleged mass graves in Cowessess First Nation in Saskatchewan, laying a teddy bear next to a flag marking an alleged child’s grave, and at a press conference in Ottawa said he would led the fight to against systemic racism and discrimination 

Chief Nepinak said the absence of evidence “should take nothing away from the difficult truths experienced by our families who attended the residential school in Pine Creek.”