Canada supports monument to honour Survivors of the Assiniboia Residential School in Winnipeg

News release

Taking care: 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.

A 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.

August 10, 2022 — Winnipeg, Manitoba, Treaty 1 Territory and Homeland of the Red River Métis — Crown–Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

The locating of 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.

Today, Elder Betty Ross of the Assiniboia Residential School Legacy Group, and the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Crown–Indigenous Relations, announced funding of $610,860 for the fiscal years of 2022–2023 to support the Assiniboia Residential School Legacy Group. This funding will support the building of a monument and gathering place to commemorate the Survivors of the Assiniboia Residential School in Winnipeg.

Working alongside Survivors and communities, the Assiniboia Residential School Legacy Group is constructing a monument to honour Survivors of the former Assiniboia Residential School. Ground was broken at the site on August 4, 2022, with the aim to open it publicly for the second National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, September 30, 2022. The Group will also organize and host related events at the site. This organization-led process will ensure the Assiniboia Residential School Legacy Group can undertake this work in their own way and at their own pace.

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.

Quotes

“There can be no reconciliation without the truth being heard first. By helping to create this place, Canada is making sure more people will learn about what Survivors like me experienced, and honour our humanity and resiliency. This learning will be a good step on the journey toward reconciliation.”

Elder Betty Ross
Survivor of the residential school system and member of the Assiniboia Residential School Legacy Group

“We recognize the importance of the work underway by the Assiniboia Residential School Legacy Group to honour the Survivors of the Assiniboia Residential School. We are committed to supporting their organization as their needs and priorities evolve throughout this process, allowing the Group to make decisions in the best way they see fit for Survivors, and at their own pace.”

The Honourable Marc Miller
Minister of Crown–Indigenous Relations

Quick facts

  • The Assiniboia Residential School Legacy Group is a non-profit organization with a mandate to honour the legacy of the Assiniboia Residential School through commemorative and educational activities; promote positive and reconciliatory relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people; foster awareness, understanding and healing; and feature culture and language as interpreted and presented by the Survivors of the residential school.

  • Budget 2022 has allocated an additional $122 million over the next three years to the Residential School Missing Children’s – Community Support Funding program, bringing the Government of Canada’s total investment to $238.8 million to date to implement the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action 72 to 76 on residential schools missing children and burial information.

  • A National 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.

Associated links

Contacts

For more information, media may contact:

Renelle Arsenault
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Marc Miller
Minister of Crown–Indigenous Relations
renelle.arsenault@rcaanc-cirnac.gc.ca

Media Relations
Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada
819-934-2302
RCAANC.media.CIRNAC@sac-isc.gc.ca

Elder Betty Ross
Assiniboia Residential School Legacy Group
431-688-1278
11bettyross@gmail.com

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