QUEEN'S PARK – Marit Stiles, Leader of the Official Opposition NDP, and Deputy Leader Sol Mamakwa (Kiiwetinoong), critic for Indigenous and Treaty Relations, issued the following statement to commemorate the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation:
"Today, on the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation, we solemnly remember Ontario's past—a past marked by profound sorrow and injustice. The enduring effects of genocide and the deep scars of residential schools serve as a reminder of the ongoing journey toward healing and justice.
We remember the missing children who never returned home from these institutions—a tragedy that has shaken our nation's conscience. The pain of losing a loved one this way is something no one should endure. For Indigenous people, this pain is all too common.
To this day, we continue to witness the lasting impacts of these historical injustices. First Nations face ongoing challenges, including boil water advisories and the harmful effects of mining on their territories without consent, a direct consequence of the government's failure to answer their calls for free, prior and informed consent. First Nations continue to suffer from the poisoning and contamination of their lands, another painful reminder that the wounds of the past continue to persist in the present.
Over the past five years, the Ford Conservatives’ disregard for due process has consistently undermined the process of reconciliation. This continued negligence perpetuates the cycle of colonialism and hinders our collective progress as a province.
The provincial government has a crucial role in fixing this crisis, starting with fully acknowledging and respecting the human and Indigenous rights violations at the root of violence against First Nations. Only through sincere acknowledgment and meaningful action can we pave the way for a brighter future.
Let us honour this day by acknowledging the truth, embracing reconciliation, and working tirelessly to heal the wounds of the past - ensuring a just and equitable future for all Indigenous peoples.”
Today, we stand in solidarity with Indigenous peoples and commit ourselves to building a future where Indigenous communities can live safely, free from violence and discrimination."
On Thursday, Deputy Leader Sol Mamakwa stood in the Legislature and, for the first time, bravely recounted some of his lived experience at the Wahbon Bay Academy, one of the 18 Indian Residential Schools operated in Ontario.