We’re Taking Steps to Ensure No One Forgets the Legacy of Indian Residential Schools – Grand Chief Daniels
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 6, 2022
ANISHINAABE AND DAKOTA TERRITORY, MB — Today, the Southern Chiefs’ Organization (SCO) is launching a month-long campaign to honour Survivors and the lost children, and to draw attention to lasting and meaningful truth and reconciliation for Indian Residential School (IRS) Survivors and their families.
“There is absolutely no disputing that the residential schools were one of the darkest periods in Canadian history, and that the legacy of the schools continues today,” stated SCO Grand Chief Jerry Daniels. “Now that more and more Canadians know the truth about the little ones who never came home and what Survivors endured, it is imperative that we commit to change and to individual, organization, and corporate acts of reconciliation. We are asking Manitobans and Canadians, what will you do in honour of Survivors and the children? Years from now, what will your legacy be?”
The ’Every Child Matters’ campaign will be seen on billboards and transit signs in Winnipeg, Brandon, Portage la Prairie, Dauphin, Steinbach, Winkler and Swan River. Lawn signs, posters, and vehicle stickers are available free of charge for pick up at SCO’s Dublin Avenue sub-office location in Winnipeg during office hours. The ‘Every Child Matters’ messaging will also be reflected on all SCO social media streams, websites, and in traditional media advertising.
The campaign will conclude on September 30th, which marks the second National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and Orange Shirt Day. The day honours the lost children and Survivors of residential schools, their families, and communities.
“Having a day, month, or even a lifetime of commemoration will not adequately repair the physical, emotional, and spiritual harm that the residential school system inflicted on our peoples,” added Sandy Bay Ojibway First Nation Chief Trevor Prince. “However, the more we learn and the more we do to honour the children and lift up our Survivors, the closer we get to healing.”
SCO recently launched funding to support southern First Nations gatherings or ceremonies to honour Survivors and intergenerational Survivors and the children who did not return home through the Survivors Healing Supports Program. Earlier in 2022, SCO launched a Mobile Crisis Response Team of qualified professionals trained in trauma informed practice who offer crisis response, intervention, and case coordination services and support Survivor gatherings. Additional programs and initiatives will be announced in the month of September.
In April of 2022, SCO unveiled a new partnership with Corpell’s Water to support the educational dreams of Survivors and their descendants. Corpell’s designed an ‘Every Child Matters’ water bottle with a distinctive orange label, and for each case of water sold, the company will donate funds to a new endowed SCO scholarship fund at the University of Brandon. SCO is matching donations up to $25,000.
“It is only through truth that we reach meaningful reconciliation, and we will not rest until the full and unreacted history of the residential schools is known by everyone who now shares our land,” concluded Grand Chief Daniels.
For more information on SCO’s Every Child Matters campaign, please visit SCO’s Indian Resident School Survivor page.
The Southern Chiefs’ Organization represents 34 First Nations and more than 81,500 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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