Indigenous peoples must lead the effort to recover residential school children:
"Over the coming days, news of the recovery of children who died at Indian residential schools will continue to roll across this country, each child found a pummelling to Canada’s battered image. Every discovery made will come with its own awful story, driving home what truly occurred in “schools” that are surrounded by fields into which children’s broken, neglected and abused bodies were tossed."
"After more than a century of government policies, such as the Indian Act, that were put in place to assimilate and destroy us, the federal government or any colonial entity cannot be put in charge of how this recovery process is going to look. Canada lost any semblance of having that place of honour in this sacred duty about 154 years ago."
"No. Canada went down that road before and it led to the hiding, burning or denying of the presence of files and evidence of where our children are.
A skeptical eye must also be focused on Canadian universities. Some had faculty members conducting medical experiments on children within those residential schools. In fact, from the early 1940s to 1952, scientists worked with Indian Affairs bureaucrats to conduct starvation experiments. Children were kept malnourished and given certain additives and untested mineral supplements to see how their bodies reacted. One of those schools was Cecilia Jeffrey Indian Residential School in Kenora, Ont. In my book Seven Fallen Feathers, I wrote how there are at least 14 bodies buried under the Cecilia Jeffrey property."
"The horrors of these truths are going to keep on screaming to the forefront.
"But this one truth is known: Indigenous peoples are the only ones to take the lead. The memories of our missing children are the only motivating factor in how to walk forward, one leg at a time.
If you are a former residential school student in distress, or have been affected by the residential school system and need help, you can contact the 24-hour Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line at 1-866-925-4419, or the Indian Residential School Survivors Society toll free line at 1-800-721-0066"