WENDAKE, QC, May 15, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - Grand Chief Konrad Sioui of the Huron-Wendat Nation signed, on May 7 with the University of Toronto and the Heritage Trust of Ontario, a memorandum of understanding aimed at reburying the bones of over 1500 Huron-Wendat ancestors which were kept for over 40 years at the University of Toronto.
In the middle of the twentieth century, the teaching staff of the University of Toronto, in addition to the personnel and students as well as other students affiliated with the University, participated in archaeological digs on sites located in southern Ontario in which human skeletal remains were found, exhumed and later transported to the University of Toronto for further study and/or to prepare a safe location for the gathering of artefacts where the appropriate care would be available. These digs were among the types of scientific efforts being made to identify study and preserve material remains related to the history of the Aboriginal peoples from the Great Lakes region. These digs were often carried out without the knowledge or consent of the First Nation. In 1970, archaeological digs were carried out at the Kleinburg Ossuary by archaeologists from the University of Toronto. In 2007, more skeletal remains were discovered on the surface of the same site. The Ontario Heritage Trust currently holds the skeletal remains and funerary objects from the Kleinburg Ossuary, which is located at the Mississauga Campus of the University of Toronto.
The bones were found in several locations in southern Ontario (Wendake South), which is one of the regions included among the ancestral lands of the Huron-Wendat people. The largest ossuary, the Kleinburg Ossuary, dates from the beginning of the 17th century. The Kleinburg Ossuary was located on the Glassco Property, which is now part of a conservation sector and protected as a natural archaeological heritage site. The place anticipated for the reburial of all of the remains and funerary objects will be called Thonnakona Ossuary.
These excavations were often executed without the knowledge or consent of the Huron-Wendat. Decades later, we finally will give our ancestors a respectful burial. September 14th will be a great day in our history, because it's the largest reburial of its kind in the North America, to date. The Huron-Wendat Nation, with his brothers and sisters, the Wyandots, will join forces to pay tribute to our common ancestors in the highest regard. We invite First Nations everywhere to attend this ceremony on September 14th, in memory of our ancestors" declared Grand Chief Sioui.
The official reburial ceremony, open to the Huron-Wendat, Wyandots, First Nations and their families in a solemn spirit and respect for ancestral memory, will be held on September 14, 2013, on the Glassco site in the city of Vaughan, near Toronto. Details to come on www.wendake.ca
SOURCE: COUNCIL OF THE HURON-WENDAT NATION
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Mélanie Vincent (email@example.com)