We must acknowledge the legacy of residential schools that are a part of the history of this country. The legacies of the residential school system continue to break the hearts, but not the resiliency of Indigenous peoples.
The Ontario Native Women’s Association (ONWA) stands in unity with the families who bravely endure each new unmarked or mass grave. The residential school system has taken too many of our children and youth. Each discovery of these tragic losses continues to create trauma for our communities. The newest discovery in Kenora at the site of the St. Mary’s Residential School is yet another reminder of the children and youth who never got an opportunity to share their gifts and potential with their communities, friends, and families. It is a constant reminder to their families of lives that have been lost and what might have been. Every parent in Canada knows that surviving a child’s death is one of the most difficult losses to survive. We stand with those mothers and fathers; aunties and uncles; grandparents and larger communities whose brave leadership in uncovering the truth will not be forgotten, nor will their children. They will continue to live on in our hearts and in the spirit world with our ancestors. May the Creator embrace the lost children and their families.
ONWA invites you to learn more about the Residential School System Legacy and its impacts by reading the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC):
If you need cultural supports:
The Indian Residential School Survivors Society Emergency Crisis Line is available across Canada 24/7 at 1-866-925-4419
Talk4Healing Help Line is available 24/7 for culturally sensitive crisis counselling, advise and support at 1-855-554-HEAL (4325)