This morning, leadership from the Cree Nation Government, Cree Nation of Chisasibi, Cree Board of Health and Social Services of James Bay, and Cree School Board have presented their position on the fight against the legacy of damage caused by the Indian Residential School experience in Canada.
Grand Chief Dr Abel Bosum (Cree Nation Government), Chief Daisy House (Cree Nation of Chisasibi), Bertie Wapachee (Cree Board of Health and Social Services of James Bay) and Sarah Pashagumskum (Cree School Board) representatives of the Cree leadership in Quebec expressed the demands for the action of the Cree Nation. These actions are aimed at governments and organizations to support the healing of the deep scars caused by the written or systemic assimilation policies that they supported in the past or tolerate today.
These actions, detailed in the pages below, include the following:
RECOGNITION OF INDIGENOUS REALITIES
- Acknowledge the genocide, the intergenerational trauma, and systemic racism.
- Undertake pedagogical review to ensure that all learn of the important contributions of Indigenous Peoples as well issues addressed above.
- Establish an Indian Residential School Museum in Montreal and Québec City.
COLLABORATION IN HEALING
- Upon request, assist local groups formed to respond to the needs of former students to search and document the residential school sites such as Fort George Island.
- Include Indigenous governments in any legislation which could establish public archives of Indigenous persons missing or deceased in any context.
- Prioritize land-based traditional treatment facilities and resources.
- Invest in the development of local health care capacity, in particular mental health.
The current crisis requires more than actions by one group or another, it requires more than calls to action, it requires personal commitment and the assumption of responsibility at all levels of Government. It is for this reason that this Press Release is accompanied with personal correspondence to establish agendas and concrete actions to:
- Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada
- François Legault, Premier of Québec
- Marc Miller, Minister of Indigenous Services
- Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown–Indigenous Relations
- David Lametti, Minister of Justice
- Christian Dubé, Minister of Health and Social Services
- Geneviève Guilbault, Minister of Public Safety
- Ian Lafrenière, Minister Responsible for Indigenous Affairs
- Jean-François Roberge, Minister of Education
- Simon Jolin-Barrette, Minister of Justice
- Valérie Plante, Mayor of Montreal
- Régis Labeaume, Mayor of Quebec City
- President of Professional Orders
- Church Leaders
- Perry Bellegarde, Assembly of First Nations
- Ghislain Picard, Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador