Precise data

  • September 14, 2023

In reading The Catholic Register article “No bodies discovered in Manitoba excavation,” the thought came to me that a wonderful contribution that the Canadian bishops could make in assisting with Indigenous reconciliation would be to finance a national digital database of all residential schools, churches, cemeteries, surrounding buildings within the defined boundaries captured from aerial photography that would date from the 1920s and legal survey plans done by the Department of Natural Resources (NRCAN), previously Energy Mines and Resources (EMR) Ottawa. This would even show structures that were later destroyed by fire.

Having this type of digital graphical information would be of great assistance in various discussions with the elders and focusing in with more precision for the use of ground penetrating radar. Satellite data would also date from the 1960s.

Obviously reconciliation will go on for many years and having reliable background information would be helpful to complement available records and discussions.

Deacon J. Hugh O’Donnell

Assistant Deputy Minister EMR/NRCAN (ret)


(This seems an eminently reasonable idea - the editor.)

Please support The Catholic Register

Unlike many media companies, The Catholic Register has never charged readers for access to the news and information on our website. We want to keep our award-winning journalism as widely available as possible. But we need your help.

For more than 125 years, The Register has been a trusted source of faith-based journalism. By making even a small donation you help ensure our future as an important voice in the Catholic Church. If you support the mission of Catholic journalism, please donate today. Thank you.