I am heartbroken by the recent discovery of a mass grave of 215 Indigenous children at a former residential school in Kamloops, BC. It is a tragic and horrific reminder of the devastating impact that the residential school system had on Indigenous youth, families and communities. To honour the many young lives lost, our city is lowering flags on public buildings for 215 hours and dimming the lights at the Civic Centre in downtown Mississauga, our city hall.
I stand with our First Nations communities and all those who are committed to truth and reconciliation and to gain a better understanding of our history and the harms caused to Indigenous Peoples, so as to never repeat them. I encourage you to join me in this learning and understanding. June is Indigenous History Month in Canada. Our City has activities planned to explore and recognize the history and important contribution of Indigenous Peoples. Our leadership team at the City has compiled some excellent resources to get started:
· The Woodland Cultural Centre – the closest Residential school to Mississauga, which has been converted into an education, awareness and Indigenous cultural centre: woodlandculturalcentre.ca/home/
· The On Canada “Settlers Take Action” Project: oncanadaproject.ca/settlerstakeaction
· Direct link to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation: trc.ca/
· A podcast by acclaimed Cree reporter, Connie Walker, on MMIWG: gimletmedia.com/shows/stolen