Peter Tabuns MPP, Toronto-Danforth

Government of Ontario

NDP calls for formal investigations of former residential schools grounds

Published on May 31, 2021

QUEEN’S PARK – After the remains of 215 children were found at a residential school in Kamloops, British Columbia, the Ontario NDP is calling on the Government of Ontario to work with Indigenous communities to use radar technology to investigate all lands and properties formerly associated with residential schools within Ontario.
“The legacy of residential schools is one of children being ripped away from their parents, disappearing forever. Those parents never stopped loving their children, and never stopped looking for them,” said Suze Morrison, the NDP critic for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Response.
Sol Mamakwa, NDP critic for Indigenous and Treaty Relations, said it is an open secret that children were buried at residential schools.
“All Indigenous people living today in Canada are survivors of the tools of genocide. We’re survivors of residential schools. We’re survivors of the Sixties Scoop. We’re survivors of the Indian Act. We’re survivors of the ongoing systemic racism that attempts to erase us,” said Mamakwa. “The unreported deaths of Indigenous children is a crime against humanity.
"There is an overwhelming amount of work to be done to ensure justice, dignity and equity for Indigenous people — from clean water to equitable access to information. Finding and honouring our taken loved ones must be a part of that work.”
Morrison and Mamakwa also called on the province to institute an annual Day of Mourning and Remembrance for those who died at residential schools, and for survivors.
“Let this be the first step towards an honest reckoning with the past by Ontario, by Canada, and all the people who call this land home," said Morrison.

Mamakwa’s May 31 statement in the legislature:
Morrison’s May 31 question in the legislature: