Canada supports Manitoba Métis Federation’s initiative to bring home spirits of Métis children who never returned from residential

Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

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.

The 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.

September 22, 2022 – Winnipeg, Manitoba – Homeland of the Red River Métis – Manitoba Métis Federation – Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

Locating 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, President David Chartrand of the Manitoba Métis Federation (MMF), and the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, announced funding of $1,417,835 for the fiscal years 2022-2024 to support the MMF’s initiative, titled “Pekeywaytahihnan nutr zanfaan leur zisprii” (We are bringing our children’s spirit home).

This initiative is the first phase of the MMF’s plans and will inform future work, which includes the formation of a Survivors Committee to guide future initiatives, knowledge gathering, research of archival records, community engagement, and commemoration plans. This community-led process will ensure the MMF can undertake this work in their own way, at their own pace, and is part of the government-to-government framework between the MMF and the Government of Canada.

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.

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