Manitoba – 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.
The National Indian Residential School Crisis Line offers emotional support and crisis referral services for residential school Survivors and their families. Call the toll-free crisis line at 1-866-925-4419. This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The Hope for Wellness Help Line also offers support to all Indigenous Peoples. Counsellors are available by phone or online chat. This service is available in English and French, and, upon request, in Cree, Ojibway, and Inuktitut. Call the toll-free Help Line at 1-855-242-3310 or connect to the online chat at www.hopeforwellness.ca.
The Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Crisis Line is available to provide emotional support and crisis referral services to individuals impacted by the issue of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ individuals. Call the toll-free Crisis Line at 1-844-413-6649. This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Locating unmarked burials at former residential school sites across Canada is a tragic 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 efforts being made to locate and commemorate missing children who attended residential schools, as well as responding to Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action 72 to 76.
President David Chartrand of the Manitoba Métis Federation (MMF), and Marc Miller, Minister of Crown–Indigenous Relations, announced funding of $1,417,835 for the fiscal years 2022–2024 to support the MMF’s initiative, titled “Pekeywaytahihnan nutr zanfaan leur zisprii” (We are bringing our children’s spirit home).
This initiative is the first phase of the MMF’s plans and will inform future work, which includes the formation of a Survivors Committee to guide future initiatives, knowledge gathering, research of archival records, community engagement, and commemoration plans. This community-led process will ensure the MMF can undertake this work in their own way, at their own pace, and is part of the government-to-government framework between the MMF and the Government of Canada.
Addressing the harms suffered by Survivors, their families and communities is at the heart of reconciliation and is essential to renewing and building relationships with Indigenous Peoples, governments, and all Canadians.
“As the National Government of the Red River Metis, helping our residential and day school survivors as they continue on their healing journeys is of great importance. The harms done to our people by individuals and policies within these institutions have long-lasting impacts on our families, our communities and our Nation. It is important for all Canadians to recognize that the residential and day school systems were part of overarching efforts to erase our culture and identity as a distinct Indigenous People and Nation—efforts that include the Sixties Scoop and the child welfare system today. To help our healing and continue to gain strength, it is critical that we honour the memories of the children and families who were lost to us and work toward restoring and revitalizing the rich culture and heritage that was taken from those who survived these systems.” – President David Chartrand, Manitoba Métis Federation
“The Manitoba Métis Federation is leading incredibly important work for Métis Survivors of residential schools in Manitoba. We understand that Survivors know best how to move forward, which is why the Pekeywaytahihnan nutr zanfaan leur zisprii initiative is so important. Our government will continue to work with the MMF on these shared priorities as they support their citizens and advance healing.” – Marc Miller, Minister of Crown–Indigenous Relations