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Lower Post residential school demolition postponed

The old residential school in Lower Post was supposed to be demolished on June 21 but the ceremony has been postponed
Crystal Schick/ Yukon News A former residential school in the Kaska Dena community of Lower Post will be demolished on June 21. Crystal Schick/ Yukon News

On June 18, the Daylu Dena Council announced it will be postponing the June 21 ceremonial demolition of the Lower Post residential school.

The decision to postpone came after the discovery of animal remains at a construction site in the community. Due to location and uncertainty of the remains, the RCMP opened an investigation in the community to conduct forensic analysis.

In order to prepare “for the worst and best” to protect the members, council immediately postponed the community gathering.

The remains were confirmed by the RCMP to not be human.

This, compounded with the recent COVID-19 outbreak furthered the council’s decision to cancel the gathering. The administration and the community now intend on taking some time to recover from this recent scare.

The demolition of the residential school was announced at an April 15 virtual event attended by Harlan Schilling, Deputy Chief of the Daylu Dena Council; Marc Miller, federal Minister of Indigenous Services, on behalf of Catherine McKenna, federal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities; and John Horgan, Premier of British Columbia.

The demolition of the former residential school was also announced at the May 31 vigil for the 215 children found buried at the Kamloops Indian Residential School.

“The Lower Post Residential School building has been a dark cloud over our people for far too long and stood in the centre of our community as a reminder of a painful past,” said Schilling in an April 15 press release.

“It was the only building in our community that we could use for our government. It held our offices, our post office and it was a place that people would have to enter every day. Many could not enter it because of painful memories.

“The one torch that has been passed on from leader to leader was to get rid of that building and get our people a new one.”

The community will receive that new building. A new multi-use facility reflecting the community’s interests, culture and traditions will be built. It will provide recreational, educational and cultural spaces for older youth and Elders and will accommodate administrative offices for the Daylu Dena Council.

Contact John Tonin at