In late May 2021, every Canadian woke up to news that the remains of 215 Indigenous children were found on the grounds of a former Indian Residential School in Kamloops, B.C.  Hearts are breaking across the country.  We are horrified and yet, the discovery of these 215 little souls is proving to be only the beginning.  The numbers continue to climb…….

What can we do? 

We can take this time to be respectful and to mourn alongside our Indigenous brothers and sisters. 

We can take this opportunity to learn and seek to understand.

Fr. Phil Mulligan – Residential Schools – When Humility Goes Awry

Fr. Phil Mulligan – Residential Schools – When Theology Goes Awry

Truth must come before reconciliation will be possible.

Did you know?

The Canadian Government recognizes three distinct groups of Indigenous Peoples:

  • First Nations, comprising more than 630 communities, representing more than 50 nations and 50 Indigenous languages

  • Inuit, the Indigenous persons of the Arctic

  • Métis, Peoples of mixed Indigenous and European (primarily French) heritage

Did you know?

June is National Indigenous History Month!

June 21st is National Indigenous Peoples Day.

September 30th is Orange Shirt Day, a day set aside to honour indigenous children who were sent away to residential schools.  The end of September falls within the time of year when the children would have been taken.

 

Did you know?

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission was active in Canada from 2008 to 2015 for the purpose of documenting the history and lasting impacts of the Indian Residential School system on children and their families – a chance for residential school survivors to tell their stories.

In June 2015, the Commission released a summary of its findings and included 94 ‘calls to action’, that is, they identified 94 changes believed to be needed in order to begin the process of reconciliation between Canadians and Indigenous Peoples.

Based on their final report, in 2019, the Commission released a 5-part film, produced in Halifax, and called, ‘They Came for the Children’.

And for any parent trying to explain the Truth and Reconciliation Report to their children, a NB-based group, Mi’gmawe’l Tplu’taqnn (a non-profit organization whose members are the nine Mi’gmaq communities in New Brunswick) has produced a child-friendly version of the 94 Calls to Action.

Click here and read as Spirit Bear explains.

We thank the Mi’gmawe’l Tplu’taqnn for their hard work in doing this for the children – planning for the future, while honouring the past.

Did you know?

CBC New Brunswick has started a series called, ‘The Elders‘, stories about Indigenous historians, knowledge keepers and educators.

This is a five-part weekly series that will feature Elders from Mi’kmaw, Wolastoqi and Passamaquoddy communities sharing their stories.   Right now, we are at week 3.

 

Please, take a few minutes and get to know some of the most honoured members of our
New Brunswick First Nations communities.

Turning anger into something good‘, a 12-year old Indigenous boy, Landyn Toney, walked almost 200 km in honour of residential school survivors, all while raising awareness for Indigenous peoples everywhere.

Landyn began his journey on Canada Day in Bible Hill, N.S., not far from where the Shubenacadie Residential School once stood.

His goal was to walk all the way to his home at Annapolis Valley First Nation – symbolic, as not all First Nations children made it home from residential schools.  “All I think to push myself to go, is I think of the kids from the residential schools,” says Landyn. “They weren’t allowed to take breaks, and they had to run way further than we are right now.”

Click here to learn more about this amazing young Mi’kmaq youth.