The Brandon Residential School Cemeteries Project
Wednesday, February 1, 2023 at 7:30 pm
(Joint presentation with Southwest Branch)
Katherine L. Nichols is a doctoral candidate at Simon Fraser University (SFU). Her research applies forensic
search and recovery methods to investigate missing children at Indian residential schools (IRS) in Canada.
She worked in partnership with Sioux Valley Dakota Nation (SVDN) for her MA thesis at the University of
Manitoba, which incorporated archival research, participant interviews and non-invasive field survey methods
to identify potential unmarked graves and burial grounds at the Brandon IRS. Throughout her doctoral
program, she has helped build a multidisciplinary team of faculty and students from six universities in
Canada. She has also assisted in establishing several working groups on the Brandon IRS Project, involving
federal, provincial, municipal governments and local United Church congregations. She is a graduate fellow in
SFU’s Community-Engaged Research Initiative (CERi) and is affiliated with SFU’s Centre for Forensic
Research. In addition to these responsibilities, she is the project manager for SVDN’s Missing Children
Investigation and works with SVDN leadership and Elder committee to engage and collaborate with survivors,
affected families, Indigenous Nations and political organizations.
This learning session will provide an overview of the Brandon Indian Residential School in Manitoba. By using
Brandon as a case example, this lecture will focus on the process of building respectful relationships, as well
as the current research into the history of the school and its’ cemeteries. An important component of this
session will be to highlight the ongoing successes and challenges of archival research. The online format of
this session will begin with a presentation followed by a question and discussion period.
If you would like more information about the ongoing investigation, please watch the documentary with Sioux
Valley Dakota Nation and Global News called, Naming the unknown: How First Nations are identifying the
children buried in unmarked graves. Here is the link: