Ontario supporting Indian residential school survivors, families and UOI communities

NIPISSING FIRST NATION—Ontario is providing $412,500 to support the Anishinabek Nation with a range of initiatives to educate and inform the public about the history and legacy of the Indian Residential School (IRS) System in its territory, and to help survivors living in the 39 Anishinabek Nation member First Nations (which includes all Manitoulin Island First Nations) share their stories.

“Our government is committed to providing a full range of financial supports for communities and regional organizations, like the Anishinabek Nation,” said Greg Rickford, minister of Indigenous affairs. “We continue to work with Indigenous partners to explore opportunities to deepen Ontarians’ collective awareness and understanding of the terrible legacy of the Indian residential school system as we advance meaningful reconciliation.”

This funding will support commemoration, research and information sharing as well as education, outreach, and support and advocacy for survivors, their families and communities. The funding is in addition to the IRS funding for communities that are leading burial investigations at former IRS sites across Ontario.

In addition, funding will support the implementation of a multi-media campaign that will create programming to combat the negative intergenerational affects caused by Indian residential schools while promoting healing and reconciliation. This funding will also help identify the current resources available within the Anishinabek Nation, in order to respond to the mental health and trauma-related impact of ongoing and future IRS investigations and will help address the gaps survivors continue to face.

“We commend the Ontario government’s efforts to support (IRS) initiatives for Anishinabek communities,” said Grand Council Chief Reg Niganobe, Anishinabek Nation. “This investment will support important public education components of the history, legacy, and impacts that residential schools have had on our Nation. Most importantly, it will help encourage survivors and families to come together to share their stories of healing, strength, and survival.”

Ontario continues to seek direction from Indigenous partners on their funding needs for IRS burial investigations and related work and is committed to ensuring that communities and organizations can access funding and provincial supports to undertake this critical work.