Call to Action # 75: Actions and Commitments

Disbursements of fed. funds to find unmarked graves


December 15, 2021


Fed. Govt., SK

Cowassess First Nation

$703,230 funding over three years for the community’s Gravesite Reclamation Project.

Survivors, intergenerational Survivors, knowledge keepers and leaders will continue the work that has already started on researching, commemorating, locating and identifying the gravesites of missing children. During the next three years, work will progress on research, archival and statement gathering, additional fieldwork, commemorative markers, electronic mapping of all marked and unmarked graves, and a monument.


June 22, 2021


Fed. Govt., SK

Federation of Sovereign Indian Nations

Saskatchewan

Federation of Sovereign Indian Nations = $4.88M (16 Indian Residential Schools)

Research, knowledge gathering and the initial ceremonies related to the burial sites of children who never returned from residential schools to their Indigenous communities. The funding will also help communities gather the information necessary to guide appropriate ground penetrating radar work.


January 27, 2022


Fed. Govt., ON

Garden River First Nation

Jan. 27, 2022: $1,485,770 for the “The Garden River First Nations Survivor Fund” is undertaking work related to burial sites associated with Wawanosh Home for Girls, on research and knowledge gathering with Survivors, their families and Knowledge Keepers for commemoration and memorialization projects, and will document and video tape fieldwork investigations using global positioning technology.

In addition, Garden River First Nation will establish a Survivors-based protocol for archival research and for interviews with Survivors and their families that ensures the work will follow spiritual, customary, ethical and religious protocols in relation to burial investigations at the former Shingwauk Residential School grounds and surrounding area.


February 7, 2022


Fed. Govt., ON

Grassy Narrows First Nation

TBNewswatch.com – $157,000 funding to research gravesites at the former McIntosh Residential School in Northwestern Ontario. The school, founded by Roman Catholic missionaries, was located 30 kilometres northwest of Vermilion Bay. It operated from 1925 to 1969. “We will take steps to commemorate and memorialize the children that died while attending McIntosh Residential School so that they will always be remembered,” he said.


April 4, 2022


Lac Seul First Nation

Pelican Lake (Pelican Falls) Residential School.

 Funding of $8,743,163 to support the continuing work underway in Lac Seul First Nation:

  • CIRNAC funding of $6,091,563 for fiscal years 2021–24, to support the community’s Bringing our Children Home initiative. The work includes research, engagement, commemoration, memorialization and field investigation related to the Pelican Lake (Pelican Falls) Residential school
    • includes a one-time funding amount of $551,600 to support mental wellness human resources associated with Bringing our Children Home.
  • Ontario’s contribution of $1,100,000 in 2021–22 includes:
    • $700,000 in operating funding to support research and community engagement related to burial investigations, and
    • $400,000 in mental health funding to provide supports to Survivors, Elders, and community members as the initiative proceeds.


December 16, 2021


Fed. Govt., ON

Lac Seul First Nation

Sioux Lookout Bulletin – $1M funding for Lac Seul First Nation who will engage with 33 affiliated northern Ontario communities to establish cultural and spiritual protocols in working with Survivors, intergenerational Survivors, knowledge keepers and leaders to address the location, documentation, mapping, maintenance and commemoration/memorialization of burial sites associated with the former Pelican Lake Indian Residential School.


May 4, 2022


Fed. Govt.

Sagkeeng First Nation

Fort Alexander IRS: $610,093

Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada: Sagkeeng First Nation has undertaken work related to Fort Alexander (Pine Falls) Residential School and the search for possible burial sites located on the land. The community-led initiative has involved knowledge gathering from Elders. Field investigation work on areas related to the school site location have been on-going since July, 2021. This work has brought together representatives from more than 30 communities that have been impacted by the residential school for ceremonial purposes.

Today, Chief Derrick Henderson of Sagkeeng First Nation, and the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, announced funding of $610,093 from the Residential Schools Missing Children – Community Support Funding program, in support of the Sagkeeng First Nation’s Fort Alexander Residential School Site Ground Penetrating Radar initiative. This funding will further assist with archival research, mental health and wellness supports, and efforts toward memorialization and commemoration of missing children who attended the residential school.

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.

Sagkeeng First Nation is a Treaty-1 and Treaty-3 First Nation community comprised of Anicinabe people who have resided at or near Alexander Reserve Number 3 located along the Winnipeg River and Traverse Bay. Sagkeeng First Nation has a population of approximately 7,637 people, with 3,352 living on reserve.


June 6, 2022


Fed. Govt.

Sagkeeng First Nation update

CBC: Sagkeeng First Nation’s search of former residential school site uncovers 190 radar anomalies

The search of a former Manitoba residential school site has unearthed what the chief of the First Nation describes as “anomalies” that could be unmarked burial sites, though the true nature of those anomalies remains unclear.

During the search, ground-penetrating radar used in the community of Sagkeeng First Nation uncovered 190 anomalies in the soil that could be the sites of unmarked graves. “So far, we don’t know what’s there,” said Sagkeeng Chief Derrick Henderson on Monday morning. “They are disturbances in the soil that fit the criteria of possibly, potentially, unmarked burials. We don’t know what’s under there yet.”

Henderson said the search sites in the community contain no lasting signs above ground of burials, but are considered by some survivors to potentially be where some missing children who were forced to attend residential school were buried.

Henderson said 137 anomalies were discovered at the arena grounds, and another 53 were found at a site adjacent to the arena grounds near a community store. Both sites are less than a kilometre from the site of the former Alexander Residential School grounds.

Henderson said there were 31 other First Nations communities whose children were sent to Fort Alexander, which operated from 1905 until 1970. Members from those communities will be invited to Sagkeeng in the coming weeks for a ceremony and to discuss what should happen next.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/sagkeeng-first-nation-residential-school-site-search-1.6479488


April 20, 2022


Fed. Govt.

Sipekne’katik First Nation

Shubenacadie Residential School: $326,700 

CIRNAC:The funding supports the “Shubenacadie Residential School Support Project for Sipekne’katik.” This funding will assist with the research, knowledge gathering, commemoration, memorialization and fieldwork that will be undertaken by the First Nation on the grounds surrounding the former Shubenacadie residential school.

Sipekne’katik First Nation has already begun the difficult work. The project, titled “Shubenacadie Residential School Support Project for Sipekne’katik,” involves local research and knowledge gathering with Elders, and fieldwork investigation on the surrounding areas of the school that were not included in earlier fieldwork investigation supported by Parks Canada. It will also include commemorative events such as the installation of a plaque honouring the missing children who attended the residential school.

Sipekne’katik First Nation is a Mi’kmaq community of 2901 members and is located in Hants County, Nova Scotia, near Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia. 


January 24, 2022


Fed. Govt., ON

Six Nations of the Grand River

$10,259,9753 in funding over three years

The Survivors’ Secretariat at Six Nations of the Grand River and Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, announced funding through the Residential Schools Missing Children – Community Support Funding program to assist with this important work.The Survivors’ Secretariat will coordinate with Survivors and engage with communities to locate, document, map, maintain and commemorate burials associated with the Mohawk Institute. This Survivor-led process will ensure that this sacred work is done in a way that supports the wishes of Survivors.


May 18, 2022


Fed. Govt.

Stólō Tribal Council

St. Mary’s Residential School, All Hallows and Coqualeetza: $1,077,520 2021-24

Chemainus Valley Courier: Interviews of survivors of St. Mary’s Residential School is being undertaken by the Stólō Tribal Council, and Stólō Nation leadership has said it plans to execute ground searches at St. Mary’s and Coqualeetza, as well as the researching all historical files related to the Coqualeetza site in Chilliwack, All Hallows in Yale, and St. Mary’s in Mission. Stólō Nation will also be interviewing Coqualeetza survivors.


February 18, 2022


Fed. Govt.

The Nisoonag (Three Canoes) Partnership

Spanish Indian Residential School

$699,574 + $900K from Ontario for 2021-2024

The Nisoonag (Three Canoes) Partnership is an alliance between Mississauga First Nation (MFN), Sagamok Anishnawbek First Nation (SFN), and Serpent River First Nation (SRFN) formed to investigate the former Spanish Indian Residential School (IRS) site for unmarked children’s graves


May 3, 2022


Wabasca (St. John’s) and Desmarais (Wabiscaw Lake, St. Martin’s, Wabiscaw) IRS

Bigstone Health Commission: $2,009,322 2021-2024

CIRNAC: Bigstone Health Commission is undertaking work related to research, knowledge gathering, commemoration, memorialization, and fieldwork investigation around two former Residential Schools – Wabasca (St. John’s) and Desmarais (Wabiscaw Lake, St. Martin’s, Wabiscaw).

Today, Lorraine Muskwa, Chief Executive Officer of Bigstone Health Commission, and the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, announced funding totalling $2,009,322 for fiscal years 2021-2024 through the Residential Schools Missing Children – Community Support Funding program to assist with this important work.

Bigstone Health Commission has established an Elder Advisory Committee to oversee archival research, interviews, gatherings for Survivors, and ground penetrating radar at both residential school sites. Fieldwork investigation is planned to commence summer 2022. This community-led process will ensure Bigstone Cree Nation can undertake this work in their own way and at their own pace.

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.

Bigstone Cree Nation is comprised of three communities: Calling Lake, Chipewyan Lake, and Wabasca located in northern Alberta with an on-reserve population of 3,500 and 4,700 members living off-reserve.


March 29, 2022


Fed. Govt.

Williams Lake First Nation

St. Joseph’s Mission Residential School: $2.9M

Mar. 29, 2022: CTV News – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced $2.9M in funding to “continue supporting healing” for members of First Nations communities impacted by the treatment children received while attending a local residential school.


January 7, 2022


BC, Fed. Govt.

Williams Lake First Nation

CIRNA – $1,912,460 Williams Lake First Nation will undertake work related to burial sites associated with the former St. Joseph’s Mission Residential School. The community is currently completing a preliminary investigation that includes interviews with former students and their families, an initial geophysical survey, and the compilation of archival and photographic records related to the disappearances and deaths of First Nations students at this institution.


Other Actions and Commitments By Theme


Commitments to Residential School cemeteries

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Fed Govt Nat. Advisory Committee & Interlocutor

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TABLE: Discoveries of unmarked graves at Residential Schools

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Discoveries of unmarked graves at Residential Schools

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