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Spirit Lake: the federal cemetery that Ottawa forgot

This unique site is now in much, much worse, condition, almost completely lost to the forest. Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly should intervene to restore the memory of the innocents transported from Montreal into the wilderness and whose tombs will forever be lost if she does not act, and soon.

Women and children at Spirit Lake. Lubomyr Luciuk says it's the federal cemetery that Ottawa forgot.
Photograph courtesy of Library and Archives Canada

They have almost been forgotten. The picket fence that segregated this hallowed ground from the surrounding boreal forest has collapsed. So have the wooden crosses that once marked their graves. There are at least 16 bodies interred in a cemetery measuring only 35 X 25 metres. Most were men, a few were children. We know their names thanks to the determined research of Vernon’s Lawrna Myers. To protect what remains of their privacy their surnames will not be repeated,

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