UOI OFFICES (Nipissing FN), March 25, 2013 /CNW/ - The Anishinabek
Nation has created a monument to honour thousands of its citizens who
have felt the impacts of Indian Residential Schools.
The memorial was unveiled today at a ceremony at the head office of the
Union of Ontario Indians as part of the "Honouring Our Children,
Families, and Communities affected by Indian Residential Schools
Project" initiated by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The TRC
was created following the June 11, 2008 apology by the Government of
Canada for the damage caused by the network of 139 government-operated
Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief Patrick Madahbee, Wedaseh, says that the monument is more than a historical reminder.
"I really see this monument as a testament to the resilience of our
people. We should take that collective strength that the residential
school survivors have exhibited, refuse to be treated as victims, and
take control of our own destiny. We should look at the monument as a
symbol of strength, not of victimhood. It's also to remind visitors to
our UOI headquarters that residential schools are a part of their
history, as well as ours, and should not be hidden."
The Grand Council Chief cited a widespread lack of understanding - even
among Anishinabek citizens - about Canada's attempts to use residential
schools to forcibly assimilate First Nations children.
"We know that it has only been recently that the truth about Indian
Residential Schools has started to be told and documented. We also
know that provincial and federal schools have limited and inconsistent
curriculum on the subject."
The Anishinabek Nation project includes a variety of educational
resources that document the history of the residential schools, the
children who attended them and the inter-generational trauma that
resulted. Materials include a fictitious narrative picture book
available in English, French, and Anishninaabemowin that tells the
story of a girl who attended Indian residential school, four videos,
including one in Anishinaabemowin, about the Indian Residential School
system and its effects on the Anishinabek Nation, survivors and their
families, and information booklets about inter-generational trauma, the
history of the schools and educational resources on the Indian
Residential School system. An educational website will be created to
house all of these resources, plus information on the Government of
Canada's apology, settlement agreement, compensation, and health
The Anishinabek Nation established the Union of Ontario Indians as its
secretariat in 1949. The UOI is a political advocate for 39 member
communities across Ontario, representing approximately 55,000 people.
The Union of Ontario Indians is the oldest political organization in
Ontario and can trace its roots back to the Confederacy of Three Fires,
which existed long before European contact.
SOURCE: Anishinabek Nation
For further information:
Marci Becking, Communications Officer
Phone: 705-497-9127 ext. 2290
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