OTTAWA, ON, May 31, 2021 /CNW Telbec/ – Les Femmes Michif Otipemisiwak/Women of the Métis Nation, the National Indigenous Women’s Organization representing women across the Métis Motherland, gather in memory and respect for the 215 precious young lives lost, whose remains were recently discovered at Kamloops Indian Residential School.
We commend the federal government’s symbolic gesture of lowering flags to half-mast on all federal buildings across Canada. We also appreciate Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada’s acknowledgment of “the heart-breaking details of the role that residential schools played in the history of Canada and the tragic legacy that continues today.”
Sadly, for First Nations, Inuit and Métis children who suffered and survived the residential and day school experience, their stories reveal the true extent of the horrors they experienced and witnessed. It has been said that a culturally-safe, Indigenous-led, survivor-centric excavation of residential school grounds across Canada would unearth similar horrors, and ultimately reveal the tragic fate of hundreds, if not thousands, of First Nations, Inuit and Métis children.
For those Métis women and 2SLGBTQQIA+ Metis persons living through the experience and intergenerational trauma of residential and day schools, the “still unfinished business” of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC) 94 Calls to Action remains an open wound. Payouts do not close these wounds, and neither do symbolic gestures by governments.
“We must simply do more. We call on all levels of government to fully implement the 94 Calls to Action of the TRC. Our hearts break for these children, their families and their communities. We must acknowledge and support survivors and families of students of Residential and Day Schools”, says President Melanie Omeniho of Les Femmes Michif Otipemisiwak.
Residential and day school survivors deserve better, just as these 215 young lives deserved better. Moreover, the 94 Calls to Action require tangible implementation and a renewed federal commitment to take concrete steps. These steps include uncovering the full extent of the horror of residential schools across Canada by exploring all former residential school sites for unmarked graves of First Nations, Inuit and Métis children.
SOURCE Les Femmes Michif Otipemisiwak