Ontario Provides Financial Support for Residential School Survivors

The Government of Ontario, through the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs, has committed $412,500 to support the Anishinabek Nation “through a range of initiatives aimed at educating and informing the public about history and legacy of the residential school system”.

The Anishinabek Nation is an organization that represents and advocates for 39 First Nations across Ontario. In a March 30 press release, the ministry said these funds will “help survivors” within these First Nations to share their stories.

These funds will also support the implementation of a new multimedia campaign. This campaign, the department explained, “will create programs to combat the negative intergenerational effects caused by residential schools” and promote “healing and reconciliation.”

“Our government is committed to providing a full range of financial supports to communities and regional organizations like the Anishinabek Nation,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Indigenous Affairs.

“We continue to work with Indigenous partners to explore opportunities to deepen Ontarians’ collective awareness and understanding of the terrible legacy of the residential school system as we advance meaningful reconciliation,” added the minister.

Some of the money will also “help identify current resources available within the Anishinabek Nation to respond to mental health and trauma impacts” caused by residential schools. After investigation, the ministry said the money will “help fill the gaps that survivors continue to face.”

The ministry also noted that Ontario “continues to seek advice from Indigenous partners” regarding funding First Nations may need to conduct burial investigations at these residential schools.

Grand Council Chief Reg Niganobe of the Anishinabek Nation said “this investment will support important public education elements of this history, this legacy and the impacts residential schools have had on our Nation.”

“Most importantly,” he added, “it will help encourage survivors and families to come together to share their stories of healing, strength and survival.”

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