Original language of petition: English
Budget 2022 allocated an additional $122 million over the next three years to the Residential School Missing Children’s – Community Support Funding initiative, bringing the Government of Canada's total investment to $238.8 million to date to implement the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action 72 to 76 on residential schools missing children and burial information. As of July 15, 2022, 84 funding agreements have been put in place with Indigenous communities and organizations resulting in $89.9 million in funding to support community-led processes to research and locate burial sites as well as to commemorate and memorialize the children who died at residential schools. Of the 84 funding agreements, 44 agreements include the use of ground-penetrating radar. These projects are community-led initiatives and activities are selected by the organizing community in consultation with other impacted communities
In January 2022, the department signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation outlining how and when Canada will share historical documents related to residential schools. This co-developed approach is ensuring an efficient and secure transmission of documents while protecting and respecting Survivors' wishes, legislation, court orders, settlement agreements, and ongoing litigation processes. Since the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement, the department has shared Residential School narratives not previously in the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation’s collection. Departmental officials are now working with the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation on the next category of information to be transmitted, more than one million documents, that will be converted to a more-readable format. The department is also working closely with various church entities and third party archives to facilitate the sharing of their collections to the fullest extent, and work is underway to create a project team and committee focused on the departmental document review, as announced on December 10, 2021. As well, and out of an abundance of caution, on April 4, 2022, the Minister issued the “Directive to preserve all information related to historical harms committed against Indigenous children” to ensure the department retains all Indian residential schools-related information. Further, the department is leading the development of options for a federal whole-of-government process to develop an approach for the identification and management of the disclosure of Indian residential schools-related documents to the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation. Providing access to Indian residential schools-related records is an important step in bringing closure to the Survivors, families, and communities who need it most. Collaborative, multi-department initiatives will provide increased transparency and accessibility to historical records.
Canada has, upon request, provided funding so Indigenous communities are able to secure the locations of marked and unmarked burials while field investigations are underway.
The Residential School Missing Children’s – Community Support Funding initiative is dedicated to: locating, documenting, maintaining and commemorating burial sites associated with former residential schools; and, responding to family wishes to commemorate or memorialize their losses and the children's final resting places. This initiative supports Indigenous-led, Survivor-centric, and culturally-sensitive initiatives and investments to help Indigenous communities respond to and heal from the ongoing impacts of residential schools. Canada respects and understands Indigenous leaders and communities know best what they need to support Survivors, families and communities in their healing journey. When communities are ready to move forward, Canada will be there to support them.
In addition, on July 20, 2022, Minister Miller and Stephanie Scott, Executive Director of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, announced the establishment of the National Advisory Committee on Residential Schools Missing Children and Unmarked Burials to ensure Indigenous communities have access to independent, trusted and expert information in their efforts to identify, locate, and commemorate their missing children.
The members of the National Advisory Committee on Missing Children and Unmarked Burials are:
o Elder Madeline Basile (Atikamekw)
o Elder Harley Crowshoe (Blackfoot)
o Elder Verna DeMontigny (Red River Métis)
o Crystal Fraser (Gwichyà Gwich'in)
o Raymond Frogner (Cree)
o Rebekah Jacques (Métis)
o Andrew Martindale
o Brenda Reynolds (Saulteaux)
o Kisha Supernant (Métis/Papaschase)
o Kona Williams (Cree and Mohawk)
The members of the Circle of Survivors are:
o Larry Ahenakew, Métis, Île-à-la-Crosse, SK
o Jack Anawak, Inuit, Iqaluit, NU
o Jacquie Bouvier, Métis, SK
o Terri Brown, Tahltan Nation, BC
o Lillian Elias, Inuvialuit, Mackenzie Delta, NT
o Romeo Saganash, Cree First Nation of Waswanipi, QC
The Government of Canada and the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation will support the National Advisory Committee on Residential Schools Missing Children and Unmarked Burials as co-administrators.
Only validated signatures are counted towards the total number of signatures.
|Province / Territory||Signatures|
|Newfoundland and Labrador||4|