“This month reaffirms our daily work to reveal the truth and achieve lasting reconciliation.” – Grand Chief Daniels
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 5, 2023
ANISHINAABE AND DAKOTA TERRITORY, MB — Today, the Southern Chiefs’ Organization (SCO) is launching a month of reflection and commemoration, and our third annual “Every Child Matters” Truth and Reconciliation campaign.
“September is a significant month for all First Nations as we acknowledge the tragic legacy of residential and day schools, missing children, and the families they left behind, along with the intergenerational Survivors of those colonial institutions,” stated SCO Grand Chief Jerry Daniels. “The truth about this horrific time in Canadian history must be remembered. As we send our children back to school, our focus is on advancing reconciliation and renewing the relationship with non-Indigenous peoples based on recognition of rights, respect, and partnership.”
SCO’s ‘Every Child Matters’ multi-media campaign will be visible on billboards and transit signs in Winnipeg, Brandon, Portage la Prairie, Dauphin, Selkirk, and Morden. The message will also be reflected on all SCO social media streams, our website, and in traditional media advertising.
The campaign will conclude on September 30th, which marks the third annual National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and Orange Shirt Day. There will also be several events to mark the month in southern First Nations, including the second annual Reconciliation Run hosted by SCO Youth Chief Tréchelle Bunn of the Birdtail Sioux Dakota Nation on September 30th.
The Reconciliation Run is a half marathon and has become a national event with runs taking place across Canada. The Manitoba event begins in the town of Birtle, at the site of the former residential school, and concludes at Birdtail.
“As an intergenerational Survivor of the residential school system, I have witnessed first-hand the hurt and ongoing impacts the school has had on my family and community,” said SCO Youth Chief Bunn. “Education is essential to the health and wellness of our children. It is important we continue to discuss the harms created by residential schools so we can work together to heal and learn from the past. I am so proud to host the Reconciliation Run in support of health, healing, and reconciliation.”
Those who would like to find more information on the Reconciliation Run should visit: www.reconciliationrun.ca
This month also marks an evolution in SCO’s advocacy for Survivors and their families, as our Survivors’ Healing Program transitions to become The Pathways to Healing Program. The Pathways to Healing Program provides supports, system navigation, and advocacy to families and Survivors of residential schools and day schools, the Sixties Scoop and child welfare system, along with the national emergency of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, two spirit, and gender-diverse people (MMIWG2S+). The Pathways to Healing grant supports Survivor-led events in SCO-member Nations. There is much more information on our website.
“The Pathways to Healing Program is an important resource, as SCO works to provide a comprehensive continuum of care to help respond to the devastating effects of colonial practices that targeted First Nations,” added Lake Manitoba Chief Cornell McLean. “The ‘Every Child Matters’ campaign provides an important annual opportunity to educate Manitobans and raise awareness as we continue to provide support for the healing of our families, communities, and Survivors.”
“Today and every day, I call on all Manitobans and Canadians to learn the truth about the little ones who never came home and what Survivors endured,” concluded Grand Chief Daniels. “My sincere hope is that this campaign will help build a solid foundation for reconciliation and understanding between all cultures as we continue a collective path to healing.”
More information can be found on the residential schools on our website: https://scoinc.mb.ca/indian-residential-school-survivors/
The Southern Chiefs’ Organization represents 34 First Nations and more than 85,500 citizens in what is now called southern Manitoba. SCO is an independent political organization that protects, preserves, promotes, and enhances First Nations peoples’ inherent rights, languages, customs, and traditions through the application and implementation of the spirit and intent of the Treaty-making process.
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