Note: genocide, residential schools, abuse, violence, murder
The Indian Residential School Survivors and Family Crisis Line is available 24/7 at 1-866-925-4419.
We are not celebrating Canada Day. We refuse to celebrate the historic and ongoing genocide of Indigenous peoples that Canada Day represents.
In the past two months, at least 1112 unmarked graves have been confirmed by ground-penetrating radar by the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation, Cowessess First Nation, and Lower Kootenay Band at the sites of three former residential forced assimilation “schools”.
Over 150 000 Indigenous children were stolen from their families during the residential school era (which continued up until the late 1990’s), to eradicate Indigenous communities and cultures.
Canada’s genocide of Indigenous peoples continues to this day:
- The foster care system has replaced the residential school system and Indigenous children are still being taken away from their families. Indigenous children making up 52% of children in foster care, despite being only 8% of children in Canada. In Manitoba, 90% of children in care are Indigenous.
- Indigenous children and youth routinely die in care. 102 deaths were reported in Ontario over 5 years; hundreds of deaths are suspected in Manitoba. In Manitoba, the deaths of Indigenous children in care were found to be preventable and due to lack of government oversight and support.
- In 2016, the federal government was found guilty of discriminating against Indigenous children on reserves, through “willfully and reckless underfunding services. This led to children being removed from their families to access services off-reserve, leading to more children living in care than during the residential schools era. Yet, the government is still appealing the court order to compensate victims.
- The foster care system acts as a pipeline towards incarceration, leading to additional abuse, control, and exploitation of Indigenous youth and adults. Indigenous people are policed and jailed at higher rates than non-Indigenous people.
- Dozens of Indigenous communities still lack access to safe, clean drinking water. The water supplies of 73% of First Nations communities are at risk for contamination.
- Indigenous communities in Canada face a suicide epidemic: Indigenous people die by suicide three times as much as non-Indigenous people.
- Thousands of Indigenous women and girls have disappeared or been murdered over the past decades. In 2019, the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls called Canada’s role in this violence a genocide.
- The federal government has spent hundreds of millions of dollars fighting Indigenous peoples in the court over land claims, discriminatory services, and compensation of residential school survivors.
Canada is responsible and complicit to hundreds of genocides on Turtle Island and abroad, historical and ongoing. Reconciliation cannot and should not mean Indigenous people forgiving colonizers, abusers, and murderers. We echo calls for bringing governments, institutions, individuals, and churches to justice. We call for control over these lands to be returned back entirely to Indigenous nations and reparations given to heal from Canada’s occupation and genocide.
Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report, including 94 calls to action:
Qikiqtani Truth Commission:
Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls:
The Indian Act Said What:
Petition to Government of Canada regarding unmarked graves:
Indigenous Crisis and Mental Health Supports:
Indian Residential School Survivors Society
National toll-free help line: 1 (800) 721-0066
24-hour crisis line: 1 (866) 925-4419
Hope for Wellness / Ligne d’écoute d’espoir pour le mieux-être
24-hour toll-free help line: 1 (855) 242-3310
- Phone counselling available in English, French, Cree, Ojibway, and Inuktitut
- Online chat counselling available in English and French
Kuu-us 24-Hour Crisis Line (BC)
BC Wide Toll Free: 1800-KUU-US17 (1800-588-8717)
Métis Crisis Line BC Toll Free: 1833-MétisBC (1833-638-4722)
Indigenous Mutual Aid: