'It's triggering memories': Maritime First Nations survivors say of latest discovery in Saskatchewan
First it was 215 in Kamloops, B.C., now Cowessess First Nation has located 751 unmarked gravesites on the grounds of a former residential school this week and that has sent shockwaves through Maritime First Nations.
"To know that I could have been one of those kids, I was one generation away from having to go through what everybody else went through and it's really hard," said Michelle Perley.
"To know that if it didn't end then I would have had the same fate, my daughter would have had the same fate, and it's not OK," she said.
Chiefs and community leaders are working to help their communities cope.
"Understanding it is not an easy subject it's not an easy event to just overnight try to heal everyone so, it's just been, it's been really rough, sometimes you just don't know which way to go," said Gabriel Atwin, Chief of Kingsclear First Nation.
For many Maritimers the headlines coming out of western former residential schools are reopening past trauma.
"It's triggering memories especially for our residential school survivors, I was talking to one this morning and she was sharing her stories with me and as she was sharing I couldn't even fathom the thought of being in those shoes and it made me very emotional," said Allan Polchies, Chief of St. Mary's First Nation.
The chiefs are asking Maritimers to take this time to remember, reflect and educate themselves on their local indigenous communities and their histories.
"Seventy-three nations across this country are going to need time to get over this and the survivors will never get over this because they're going to sit back and say I could have been one of them," said Barry LaBillois, Chief of New Brunswick Aboriginal Peoples Council.