TORONTO — Mike Schreiner released the following statement in regards to Cowessess First Nation discovering 751 unmarked graves in Saskatchewan:
“The 751 unmarked graves found at the site of the former Marieval Indian Residential School in Saskatchewan is another disturbing and tragic reminder of the horrific legacy and present day reality of colonialism and systemic racism.
This is not the first discovery of unmarked graves at the sites of former residential schools. And I fear it will not be the last.
We cannot make progress on meaningful Reconciliation until the Truth has been uncovered and accepted by all.
The truth is that genocide is part of Canada’s history. And we must face that reality as we work to dismantle colonialism.
Confronting the truth means educating all Ontarians about the atrocities of colonialism and the history of residential schools.
That’s why I’m calling for the Ontario Government to:
- Provide all necessary funding to support Indigenous-led searches for lost children at each residential school site in the province;
- Legislate a day of mourning and remembrance for those lost and for survivors of residential schools, with planning led by Indigenous peoples;
- Institute the Indigenous curriculum writing session that Ford cancelled in 2018 to include more Indigenous content and the history of residential schools;
- Ensure Indigenous peoples have access to clean drinking water, affordable housing, equitable health and social services, and job opportunities.
Today is a dark day. And it deeply saddens me that there will be many more days like this, where the painful truth of Canada’s past is brought to the fore.
But to move towards meaningful Reconciliation, we must first face the truth.
I will continue to fight for the implementation of the TRC recommendations.”