Finding grave 'like winning the lottery' for Keewaywin family
Joe Meekis makes plans to bring his grandfather's remains home to Keewaywin First Nation
After more than 50 years, Joe Meekis, from Keewaywin First Nation, finally knows where his grandfather is.
No one in the remote community in northwestern Ontario had heard from Elijah Kakegamic since he was sent to the tuberculosis sanatorium in Thunder Bay in the 1950s.
"We didn't know where he went or what happened to him," Meekis said. "There was no record of him anywhere."
Finally, modern technology came to the rescue. Meekis said his daughter did a Google search and Elijah turned up in the Mountain View Cemetery in Thunder Bay.
"We didn't know where he was, so to get that feeling 'we found him', it's like winning a lottery ticket," Meekis said. "We were ecstatic."
Meekis said he is now making plans to bring his grandfather's remains home for a proper burial in Keewaywin. He expects that will cost thousands of dollars and hopes a fund raising campaign will help pay for some of it.
"The important thing is we have one sibling [of Elijah's] that is still alive today," Meekis said. "And to be able to heal her in that way by returning him back here to his community. I can't imagine the feeling that will be."