Lower Post postpones school demolition ceremony after animal remains found

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LOWER POST, B.C. — A ceremony to mark the demolition of a former residential school building in a British Columbia First Nation community has been postponed after animal remains were found by construction workers.

The ceremony in the tiny community of Lower Post near the B.C-Yukon boundary was set for Monday, but the band council says in a statement it cancelled the gathering because of the discovery.

Last April, the federal and B.C. governments announced the construction of a $13.5-million, multipurpose community centre to replace the building many local elders feared as a place where they suffered physical and sexual abuse.

The Daylu Dena Council says a recent outbreak of COVID-19 cases in Yukon and the "trauma" caused by the discovery of the remains led to the decision to postpone the ceremony.

The council says the RCMP started an immediate investigation and conducted a forensic analysis of the remains, confirming they were not human.

The RCMP could not immediately be reached for comment on its investigation.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 18, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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