Canada supports Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation in undertaking research and commemoration activities around former Residential School sites
Taking care: We recognize this news release may contain information that is difficult for many and that our efforts to honour Survivors and families may act as an unwelcome reminder for those who have suffered hardships through generations of government policies that were harmful to Indigenous Peoples.
A National Indian Residential School Crisis Line is available to provide support to former Residential School students who can access emotional and crisis referral services by calling the 24-Hour National Crisis Line at 1-866-925-4419.
Indigenous Peoples can also access the Hope for Wellness Help Line by phone at 1-855-242-3310 or via online chat through the website at www.hopeforwellness.ca.
February 16, 2022 — Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation on West Vancouver Island, British Columbia — Crown–Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada
The locating of unmarked graves at former Residential School sites across Canada is a painful reminder of the abuse that many Indigenous children suffered in these institutions. The Government of Canada is working with Survivors, Indigenous leaders and affected families and communities to address historical wrongs and the lasting physical, emotional, mental and spiritual harms related to the legacy of Residential Schools. Part of this work includes locating and commemorating missing children who attended Residential Schools, as well as responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action 72 to 76.
Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation is conducting ongoing research and addressing the location of potential unmarked burial sites using ground-penetrating radar. The First Nation will work with Elders and Knowledge Keepers to respond to family wishes to memorialize their losses and the children’s final resting place at two former Christie Residential School sites on Meares Island and in Tofino in British Columbia. The First Nation will also create lasting historical resources to tell the story of Survivors, their families and the community, sharing their stories with local schools and organizations to increase awareness and support ongoing healing and reconciliation. This community-led process will ensure that Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation can undertake this work in their own way and at their own pace.
Today, Chief Thomas George of Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation and the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Crown–Indigenous Relations, announced funding of $543,180 over three years to support the First Nation’s work at the former Residential School sites.
Addressing the harms suffered by Survivors, their families and communities is at the heart of reconciliation and is essential to building and renewing relationships with Indigenous Peoples, governments and all Canadians.
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