QUEEN’S PARK – The Ontario NDP’s critic for Indigenous and Treaty Relations Sol Mamakwa (Kiiwetinoong) issued the following statement in response to reports that the Supreme Court will not hear from survivors of St. Anne’s residential school:
“I stand with St. Anne’s survivors in profound disappointment that the Supreme Court has decided not to hear their appeal.
The survivors have spent over a decade fighting for Ottawa to release documents detailing harrowing abuses they and fellow students suffered when forced to attend St. Anne’s. The abuse inflicted against these students and other survivors of residential schools was genocide.
Those who survived this abuse, and our ancestors who never made it home from St. Anne’s, or other residential schools, deserve to have their stories told.
True reconciliation with First Nations in Canada cannot happen if our government and legal institutions refuse to confront the past, or commit to preserve the records of how Canada treated Indigenous people. What is happening to residential school survivors in our justice system is continued oppression and colonialism.
I stand in solidarity with the survivors as they continue their fight to have their stories told, so that their stories are preserved for generations to come. This is necessary so that we can engage on a path of healing.”