Thunder Bay, ON – On Canada Day and every day, we must acknowledge the legacy of residential schools that are a part of the history of this country. The unresolved atrocities of the residential school system continue to break the hearts, but not the resiliency of Indigenous peoples.
Today, the Ontario Native Women’s Association (ONWA) is wearing orange to recognize and honour thousands of Indigenous children forcibly taken to residential school and as a testimony to the resiliency of residential school survivors in Canada. Join us and #WearOrangeOnCanadaDay as a call to all levels of government to immediately implement all Truth and Reconciliation (TRC) 94 Calls to Action; an important step in rebuilding Canada's relationship with Indigenous peoples.
Reconciliation takes more than words, it takes action.
Over 150,000 children were forced to attend residential schools across Canada and many never returned home. We can see the evidence in mass unmarked graves such as the Kamloops Residential School, the Cowessess First Nation Marieval Indian Residential School, and countless more yet to be identified. We need to support one another and stand collectively in demanding justice on behalf of all Indigenous children. Every Child Matters.
ONWA acknowledges and honours the thousands of families that are impacted by the horrific legacy of residential schools. ONWA supports Indigenous women and their families whose hearts are broken and stands with you in mourning.
“In their resiliency, Indigenous women continue to lead the way. As we grieve the loss of generations of Indigenous children, ONWA is committed to ensuring that the voices of Indigenous women are heard and the echoes of the children’s voices from the spirit world are honoured.” stated Cora McGuire-Cyrette, Executive Director, ONWA
It is important that all Canadians read the TRC 94 Calls to Action. In 2015, the TRC requested that the Canadian government begin the search for the suspected unmarked graves at the known 130 residential schools across Canada; that request was denied.
Everyone has a role to play in advancing reconciliation. Join ONWA in writing a letter to the Prime Minister calling for the Government of Canada to immediately assume the following actions to address the discovery of mass graves of Indigenous children:
Full reinstatement of the Aboriginal Healing Foundation, including funding and programs to support healing services for Indigenous women, families, and communities.
Implementation of all 94 Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Government to support Indigenous communities, including urban Indigenous communities to implement the 231 Calls to Justice from the National Inquiry’s Final Report on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
A way to commemorate and honour these little ones through a day of sorrow and remembering every year.
If you are in need of 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).
For more information:
Andre Morriseau, Communications Manager
Ontario Native Women’s Association (ONWA)