$320 Million In Addition Support for Indigenous Communities

The Government of Canada is ensuring that residential school’s history are never forgotten

By Dami Igbinyemi

Canada is listening and will continue to listen to First Nations, Inuit and Métis Survivors and their families. The Government of Canada will continue to take action to support Indigenous Peoples and communities as they respond and heal from the intergenerational trauma of residential schools. To honour the children who did not return home, Canada plans to support communities as they locate burial sites by commemorating and memorialize the innocent lives lost.

Today, the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Indigenous Services, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage, and the Honourable David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General 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. 

“We know that Indigenous communities, families and friends are hurting. There isn’t a single community that is not grieving today. We also know that communities across the country need support, and we are committed to working with Indigenous leaders to do so, in partnership with them. For months and years, we have heard atrocious anecdotes that only remind us that calling those ‛schools’ can only be a euphemism. Now is the time to start fulfilling our duty to help first Nations, Inuit and Métis recover the truth. Today’s announcement is the first step in that direction.” -The Honourable Marc Miller, P.C., M.P. Minister of Indigenous Services 

From this funding, $83 million will be allocated to the community-led process to research and locate burial sites as well as commemorate and memorialize the innocent lives lost. This funding is added to the $27.1 million parts of the $33.8 million allocated in Budget 2019 bringing the Government of Canada total funding to $116.8 million. Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada is working to establish a National Advisory Committee that will advise communities and the government of Canada on locating burial sites. Communities are discussing what to do with Residential school buildings since they hold so many painful memories. Canada will provide $100.1 million over two years to whatever they decide to do.

A National Day for Truth and Reconciliation will be observed for the first time this September 30th, 2021. The Government of Canada is committed to making sure that the tragic history and ongoing legacy of residential schools are never forgotten. To do so $9.6 million over three years in addition to the $13.4 million over five years from Budget 2021 is set to support initiatives like events and activities for National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. In addition, $20 million in funding will be provided to build a monument in Ottawa to honour the Survivors and lives lost.

A National Indian Residential School Crisis Line is available 24/7 to support former Residential School students by calling 1-866-925-4419. The Hope for Wellness Line is also available to all Indigenous Peoples 24/7 by phone at 1-855-242-3310 or by online chat at Hope for wellness hotline.

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