Magnetawan Chief and Council are requesting that the First Nation not observe Canada Day this year while the Indigenous communities across Canada mourn the thousands of children who died at residential schools.
Magnetawan First Nation operations will be closed July 2 to allow our people to take the time as a day of mourning and all are requesting everyone to wear orange attire as will be done across Canada.
We are all saddened by the reminder of the dark period in our history, brought back to the forefront by the disheartening news from the Kamloops and Marieval residential schools.
An estimated 751 unmarked graves were found recently in a cemetery near the former Marieval Indian Residential School in Saskatchewan.
In May, the remains of 215 children were found buried at the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School in British Columbia.
The physical, sexual, and psychological abuse, neglect and mistreatment that took place at residential schools was meant to assimilate our children into non-Indigenous society and/or eliminate us as a people. Although it was not completely successful it has scarred our families and our communities and has placed shame in Canada for life.
The presence of unmarked graves has been known to us through oral history and is not a discovery; but is an exposure of the outcome and cover up of the horrendous atrocities inflicted on our defenceless vulnerable children.
Murray Sinclair, former commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, estimated more than 6,000 children may have died due to abuse and neglect in the schools.
The government-sponsored religious schools operated in Canada under the former “Indian policy” of the Canadian government and churches for more than a century before the last was closed in the late 1990s.
Canada is held accountable for a “legislated system of horror” that included crimes against humanity, genocide, and ethnic cleansing, including a crime “MURDER”. The church must also be held accountable and those members accountable must be prosecuted for their crimes.
Will Justice be served for the Indigenous children and their families?