Why it matters
Of the almost two dozen residential schools that operated in Saskatchewan, Muscowequan — operating from 1889–1997 — is one of the last remaining. The imposing three-storey brick building which now stands on the site was erected in 1931, after the previous building burned to the ground. The school had a profoundly traumatic impact on generations of Indigenous peoples in the Qu’Appelle Valley and beyond. It is a wide-spread belief amongst local Indigenous communities that the former school should be preserved as a site of memory and conscience for all Canadians.
Why it’s endangered
Abandoned since 1997, the school is deteriorating and evidence of its dark history is being lost. The Muskowekwan First Nation — on whose land it now sits — does not have funding to implement its vision for a museum and site of memory in the rehabilitated school. The First Nation recently received a grant to board up the vast building’s windows, but vandalism and deterioration continues.