Canada supports Lac Seul First Nation in undertaking research and commemoration activities around the former Pelican Lake Residential School site

News release

Taking care: We recognize that this statement comes at a time that is difficult for many and that our efforts to honour victims 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. A support line is available for former residential school students and their families for support, emotional and crisis referral services. You can also find information on how to obtain other health support from the Government of Canada.

Please call the National Residential School Crisis Line at 1-866-925-4419 if you or someone you know is triggered while reading this.

We encourage all those who need some support at this time to reach out and know that support is always there for you through the Hope for Wellness Help Line at 1-855-242-3310 (toll-free) or the online chat at, open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

December 16, 2021Lac Seul First Nation, Treaty #3 region, northwestern Ontario — Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

The locating of unmarked graves at former residential school sites across Canada is a tragic reminder of the abuse that many Indigenous People have experienced. The Government of Canada is working with Survivors, Indigenous leaders and affected families and communities as part of efforts to address historical wrongs and the lasting physical, emotional, mental and spiritual harms related to the legacy of residential schools.

Lac Seul First Nation will engage with 33 affiliated northern Ontario communities to establish cultural and spiritual protocols in working with Survivors, intergenerational Survivors, knowledge keepers and leaders to address the location, documentation, mapping, maintenance and commemoration/memorialization of burial sites associated with the former Pelican Lake Indian Residential School. Today, Chief Clifford Bull of the Lac Seul First Nation, Ontario, and the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations announced funding of $1 million in 2021-2022 for the Lac Seul First Nation to support this important work.

This community-led process will ensure Lac Seul First Nation can undertake this work in their own way and at their own pace.

Addressing the abuse suffered by Survivors, their families and communities is at the heart of reconciliation and is essential to renewing and rebuilding relationships with Indigenous Peoples, governments, and all Canadians. The Government of Canada remains steadfast in its commitment to address the legacy of residential schools, and this will continue to be a priority as we walk down the shared path of reconciliation.


"Lac Seul and its partners are very pleased with the positive outcome of the proposal. The Bringing Our Children Home Initiative received funding from Canada, and this funding will support positive relationships throughout our area to bring closure with respect to the missing children who never returned home."

Chief Clifford Bull
Lac Seul First Nation

“We will be there to support communities like Lac Seul First Nation to research what happened at former residential schools, including Pelican Lake Residential School. Our thoughts are with those Indigenous children who never returned home, the Survivors, families and communities as they embark on this difficult journey, mourn and heal.”

The Honourable Marc Miller
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations

Quick facts

  • On August 10, 2021, the Government of Canada announced approximately $320 million in additional support for Indigenous-led, Survivor-centric and culturally informed initiatives and investments to help Indigenous communities respond to and heal from the ongoing impacts of residential schools. This supplements the $33.8 million announced in Budget 2019 in response to Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action 72 to 76.

  • A National Residential School Crisis Line is available to provide support to former residential school students who can access emotional and crisis referral services by calling the 24-Hour National Crisis Line at 1-866-925-4419.

  • The Hope for Wellness Help Line is also available at 1-855-242-3310 or via the online chat function through their website.

Associated links


For more information, media may contact:

Renelle Arsenault
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Marc Miller
Minister of Crown–Indigenous Relations

Media Relations
Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

James Cutfeet
Director Communications Branch
Lac Seul First Nation

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