OTTAWA, ON., June 30, 2021 – Les Femmes Michif Otipemisiwak / Women of the Métis Nation (LFMO), the National Indigenous Women’s Organization representing Métis women across the Métis Nation Motherland, is calling on the Federal Government to commit to a distinctions-based process and supports for Métis Residential School survivors and their families to heal in this unprecedented time of grief and loss for Métis, Inuit, and First Nations people.
LFMO honors profoundly the Métis, Inuit, and First Nations survivors, families, and communities grieving the loss of precious loved ones at the Kamloops Indian Residential School and St. Eugene’s Mission Residential School in British Columbia, the Cowessess First Nation in Saskatchewan, and those who still remain to be found. We encourage all Canadians to reflect, pray for and honor these Children this Canada Day. LFMO also sees Canada Day as an opportunity for a call to action from the Government of Canada to address its historic wrongs, including the continued exclusion of Métis survivors.
For generations, Métis people, families and communities have been impacted by Residential and Day School experiences of violence, abuse, trauma and neglect, and to this day, many Métis survivors have still not received the recognition and supports that have been afforded to other survivors and their families. We reflect on the experiences of Île-à-la-Crosse Residential school survivors as an example of the exclusion and denial that was not addressed by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Even today, there are Métis elders who have never been afforded the opportunity to tell their stories, to be validated, and to be supported in their healing as Métis survivors.
Today, we call on all Canadian leaders to right this wrong, and to address this painful and neglectful exclusion that compounds our suffering. We also call on all Canadian leaders to commit to distinctions-based process and supports for Métis survivors and their families.
“This year, Canada Day needs to be a day of reflection and consideration of our history. The recent discoveries of unmarked graves of Métis, Inuit, and First Nations children are not a surprise to us, and we fear are but the tip of the iceberg. In honor of our lost loved ones, we call on the Federal Government to provide supports to the Métis Nation survivors and families impacted by the horrors of Residential Schools and Day Schools.” President Melanie Omeniho, Les Femmes Michif Otipemisiwak / Women of the Métis Nation