Today, our hearts are with Indigenous communities across Turtle Island with the tragic discovery of 751 unmarked graves on the site of a former residential school in Saskatchewan. This finding and the many others recently found within Canada’s former residential schools’ grounds is devastating news to all within our district. There are no words for the grief and intergenerational trauma felt in this moment by Canada’s Indigenous peoples. Grand Erie extends its deepest sympathies to the survivors, families, Indigenous Nations and all those affected by this tragedy.
Flags across Grand Erie will be lowered to half-staff. Where possible, we have asked all schools to change the message on their school signs to: “1000+ Lives Lost, Every Child Matters”. A moment of silence will be observed at the board meeting on June 28 and we are encouraging all Grand Erie staff and students to join us in observing this moment of silence on Monday at 7:15 p.m.
As we come together as a community to mourn, our thoughts are with the people of Six Nations and Mississaugas of the Credit, who have been affected or who have had loved ones affected by the trauma caused by their own experiences at residential schools in Ontario. Grand Erie remains steadfast in our commitment to respond to the Calls to Actions 62 and 63 from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s report to ensure Indigenous and non-Indigenous students and staff learn the history of Canada’s Indigenous peoples, including the devastating legacy of residential schools.
Should you require support, please reach out to your school principal. As well, the National Indian Residential School Crisis Line provides 24/7 support for residential school survivors and others who are affected: 1-866-925-4419.
JoAnna Roberto, Director of Education and Greg Anderson, Grand Erie District School Board Chair