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The demolition of Lower Post’s former residential school will go ahead

The former residential school in Lower Post will be demolished on June 30. The event was originally planned to happen on June 21 but had to be postponed
A ceremonial demolition of the former residential school in Lower Post will happen June 30. Crystal Schick/ Yukon News

The former residential school in Lower Post will be demolished on June 30.

The residential school building was built in 1951 and hosted students from nearly 40 Indigenous communities in the Yukon and B.C. The building currently serves as office space for the Daylu Dena Council.

The ceremonial demolition will take place 46 years after the school closed in 1975.

“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,” said Deputy Chief of the Daylu Dena Council Harlan Schilling in an April 15 release.

On the day of the ceremonial demolition, there will also be a ground-breaking ceremony. A new multi-purpose community building in the Kaska Dena community will be built.

The facility will reflect the community’s interests, culture and traditions, as well as provide recreational, educational and cultural spaces for youth and elders. It will also accommodate the administrative offices of the Daylu Dena Council.

The demolition was originally slated for June 21, however, the discovery of bones near a construction site postponed the date. After an RCMP investigation, it was determined the bones were animal but the community needed time to heal and process.

Although there is an outbreak of COVID-19 in the Yukon, the demolition will go ahead.

“The health, wellness and safety of survivors, elders, knowledge keepers, communities and guests of the gathering is a top priority,” said a press release.

A COVID-19 gathering plan was created in partnership with the Yukon and B.C. health authorities.

Those attending need to have at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine and adhere to the safe six, plus one.

Correction: An earlier version of this article erroneously stated the demolition will happen on July 30. The demolition is scheduled for June 30.

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