Statement by NDP Leader Andrea Horwath on National Indigenous History Month
QUEEN'S PARK — "Today marks the beginning of National Indigenous History Month, a chance to celebrate the heritage, diverse cultures and achievements of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.
The Ontario NDP commits to standing in solidarity with Indigenous Peoples who continue to struggle for human rights and for justice — which includes clean drinking water, equitable access to health care and education, safe and dignified housing, and the recognition and activation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
The discovery of the remains of 215 children on the site of a former residential school in Kamloops, British Columbia, has united people in grief. Those 215 precious children, and many more across the country, should have lived full lives, and their grandchildren should be here today.
Residential schools erased generations. During National Indigenous History Month, Canada must not only mourn for them, but own up to its own history. Residential schools, the Indian Act, and the Sixties Scoop were acts of erasure, and of crimes against humanity.
We call on the Ford government to work with Indigenous Nations to search all former residential school properties in Ontario. We also call on the Ford government to restore funding to the Indigenous Culture Fund and fulfill the calls to action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that includes a mandatory Indigenous curriculum in Ontario’s schools, so that First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples’ diverse languages, cultures and heritages are preserved, and Canada's history of oppression, discrimination and injustice against Indigenous Peoples is not forgotten.”
Statement by MPPs Sol Mamakwa and Suze Morrison on National Indigenous History Month
QUEEN'S PARK — The NDP critic for Indigenous and Treaty Relations Sol Mamakwa (Kiiwetinoong) and the critic for Urban Indigenous Issues Suze Morrison (Toronto Centre) released this statement:
"Today marks the beginning of National Indigenous History Month. In regular times, we would be issuing a statement about the challenges and successes of our communities through the year. We might also talk about the roots of who we are as people, and the importance of our ways of life.
But today we are collectively still in a time of grief and reflection. We are remembering what our relatives experienced at residential schools and are feeling the hurt of how this still impacts us today.
In spite of all we have overcome — residential schools, the Sixties Scoop, the Indian Act, and the ongoing systemic racism that attempts to erase us — we are still here.
During National Indigenous History Month, we hope that non-Indigenous Ontarians will take time to learn more about the Treaties and the history of residential schools."