St. Joseph’s Mission Investigation Activity Summary for the period of October 23 to October 29, 2021

This week members of the SJM team met to discuss the completion of the Terrestrial LiDAR, and how the results will be used. With the results of this LiDAR, we were able to accurately pinpoint the bridge which was used to transport children to and from the railway tracks to St. Joseph’s Mission. There were not a lot of physical remnants of the bridge left at the site, and the team was previously unable to find the bridge with photography. The identification of this location has given the team a better understanding of how the property previously looked and has enabled us to pinpoint locations more accurately during survivor interviews.

The SJM Investigation team has also put in a request to the Federal Government to obtain aerial photography of the site. So far, we have received multiple sets of photographs from the 1940’s and 50’s, several more from the 1960’s and some as late as 1978. These photographs are crucial for our records as they show buildings which are no longer standing. Once the photographs are cleaned up, they will be fantastic tools during survivor interviews and will assist us when creating a site map.

Caption: Leo Michel stands at the SJM site, close to the bridge location.

The 3D imaging of the barn structures has been completed and are looking fantastic. WLFN will be given the raw data cloud which means in the future we can use this imagery for virtual tours and public education regarding the buildings and SJM site.

Geoscan is still working on site and will remain there until the second week of November. They are still obtaining valuable data and will continue to do so until the snow falls. One key area which is proving to be problematic is directly outside of the barn. This area is heavily trampled by cows and the terrain is extremely uneven. To counteract this, the team plans to place the scanning equipment on a sled and wait until the snow has fallen and evened out the ground a little more.

The SJM investigation team conducted an interview with Charlie Gilbert from Sugar Cane. Charlie attended the St. Joseph’s Mission during the 1950’s, and his family lived at the Mission prior to him attending school. Charlie was able to relate to the team about buildings on site during that period, which was exceptional as the team previously did not know what some structures were used for. The team thanks Charlie for giving his information.

Caption: Charlie Gilbert with Charlene Belleau and Nancy Sandy.