Niisaachewan Anishinaabe Nation, June 15th 2021- Niisaachewan Anishinaabe Nation says the Ontario governments announcement on Residential Schools is a step in the right direction.

Today, Premier Doug Ford announced 10 million dollars to help support the identification, investigation, protection and commemoration of the Residential School burial sites across the province.

Minister Greg Rickford invited the Ogichidaa Francis Kavanaugh on behalf of Treaty Three and Niisaachewan Anishinaabe Nation, as he made the announcement today in Kenora at Seven Generations.

The community was honoured to be invited to attend this event, and says Miigwetch to Minister Rickford for putting so much precedent on this announcement.

I believe this is a good step forward as we continue to work towards truth and reconciliation with all indigenous people across this country”, said Chief Lorraine Cobiness. “This is the first step forward however in this process, and I would like to call on both levels of government to continue to support efforts in healing as we move forward, this is just the beginning and the impact this has had and continues to have on our people is something that we all have to work together in partnership to make right.

With todays announcement, it is crucial and essential that this is an Anishinaabe led path, and we must go ahead with this guided by ceremony and supported by our survivors and elders.

As leaders of our communities, we have to do absolutely everything we can to support this path forward, and to ensure this never happens again, as must protect our children, they are our future,” added Cobiness speaking on behalf of herself and her council. “This is part of honouring the spirits of those children, who never got to return home again, and we must continue to honour them in the work we do moving forward.

The province says they will be identifying technical experts that will be available to lead the related research, analysis and technical field work that will be required to ensure it is conducted to high standards, in correlation with the work that will be conducted through ceremony. The government also notes that Indigenous communities will have the option to work with the Ontario specialists.

There are many other things we must do, besides just this announcement to make progress, which includes supporting and promoting the initiatives and partnerships (for example the All Nations Health Partners, the Jays Care Foundation, Grand Council Treaty Three etc) that we have formed that support healing, creating safe youth spaces and our mental health programming.

We as a community are proud with the partnership we have formed, and will continue to invest in these relationships so we have a strong foundation for our youth.

For more information please contact:

Chief Lorraine Cobiness
Niisaachewan Anishinaabe Nation
(807) 548-5876