Chiefs of Ontario
Taykwa Tagamou Nation Territory, ON) Ontario Regional Chief RoseAnne Archibald issued the following statement on the 6th anniversary of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Release of the 94 Calls to Action:
“After last week’s discovery of the 215 children found in a mass grave at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School, Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation, First Nations communities, members and survivors from across the country are experiencing unimaginable grief as we mourn the loss of these precious souls,” said Ontario Regional Chief RoseAnne Archibald.
On June 5, 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission released its 94 Calls to Action, which included individual instructions to guide governments, communities and faith groups down the road to reconciliation. Since the release of the TRC’s 94 Calls to Action in June 2015, only 10 have been completed, with 24 projects underway, 38 proposed, and 21 left yet to be addressed, according to CBC’s Beyond 94.
More than 130 residential schools were purposefully created to assimilate Indigenous people. More importantly, the Government of Canada and the Catholic Church were fully aware of these atrocities despite denials and cover-ups. The stories told by residential school survivors cannot be relegated to history as our family members continue to deal with the overwhelming impacts of intergenerational trauma from residential schools.
We must make strategic efforts in full partnership with all levels of government, guided by our First Nations traditions, to ensure our children, families and communities are respected, protected and treated with dignity.
Today, I am calling for renewed efforts and an immediate action plan from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, along with Premier Doug Ford to ensure that the 94 Calls to Action are fully implemented. It is through this work that we can begin to honour the 215 children found at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School and the many more who are buried in unmarked mass graves across Canada. Non-Indigenous people are now realizing that Canada’s history has not been fully told. There must be Truth before reconciliation. Therefore, I ask our allies to support and stand with us in our calls for action.
In closing, Regional Chief Archibald said, “This past week has been very emotional and traumatizing for all Canadians. We are hurting and we are mourning the loss of innocent children found in Kamloops B.C. and are preparing ourselves for more discoveries across Canada. I urge everyone to continue on their healing journey by embracing their pain and grief and transforming it into action. Our children deserve to be in the loving embrace of their families today and for generations to come.”
Ontario Regional Chief RoseAnne Archibald
About the Chiefs of Ontario
The Chiefs of Ontario is a political forum and a secretariat for collective decision-making, action, and advocacy for the 133 First Nation communities located within the boundaries of the province of Ontario, Canada. Follow Chiefs of Ontario on Facebook or Twitter @ChiefsOfOntario.