Royal Victoria Hospital
Royal Victoria Hospital Credit: McGill University

As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, McGill University is planning to expand its campus onto the site of the former Royal Victoria Hospital on Mount Royal.

Some Indigenous groups suspect the site includes unmarked children’s graves.

They went to court to ensure proper archeological techniques are used during McGill’s expansion and recently came to an agreement with McGill, the City of Montreal and the Quebec and Canadian governments.  (Here’s the agreement in full)

This is an excerpt from a statement from Mohawk Mothers:

“This is how the kahenkehaka (Mohawk Iroquois) are dealing with the issue of genocide. Our children’s lives were devalued. We are using our natural way, with the women at the helm supported by the men.

“There will be justice for all children and families.

“With the other parties we can put the spirits of our children to rest and that the entities that are responsible for their deaths will be held accountable. We will stay focused and continue searching for justice. We assume that all parties before this court and the whole world will join us in this new beginning.”

The following is from a Montreal Gazette article by Jesse Feith.

A group called the Mohawk Mothers (kanien’kehá:ka kahnistensera) has struck an agreement for searches to be conducted for possible unmarked graves at the site of Montreal’s former Royal Victoria Hospital on Mount Royal.

Work is planned for the site as part of McGill University expanding its campus, but the group has argued it has reason to believe Indigenous children might have been buried there.

The Quebec Superior Court approved a settlement agreement between the different parties involved to ensure the “appropriate archeological techniques” are used to detect whether there are graves on the site.

“This is so important,” Kwetiio, a member of the group, said. “It tells us that the court understands the severity of this and how this process needs to be in place.”

Read the rest of the Gazette story here.

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