Canada supports Dakota Tipi First Nation’s Residential School Survivors Project for research, commemoration and memorialization activities and healing supports around five former residential school sites in Manitoba.

January 17, 2022 — Dakota Tipi First Nation, Manitoba — Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

The locating of unmarked graves at former residential school sites across Canada is a tragic reminder of the abuse Indigenous children suffered in these institutions. The Government of Canada is working with Survivors, Indigenous leaders and affected families and communities as part of efforts to address historical wrongs and the lasting physical, emotional, mental and spiritual harms related to the legacy of residential schools.

Dakota Tipi First Nation’s Residential School Survivors Project is establishing a Survivor-led steering committee to initiate protocol development to help guide the investigations into five former residential schools located at Portage la Prairie, Sandy Bay, Assiniboia, Brandon and Fort Alexander in Manitoba, all of which children from Dakota Tipi First Nation attended. Dakota Tipi First Nation will also undertake knowledge gathering and  with direction from Elders, Survivors and their families  explore commemoration and memorialization activities. This will be a community-led process to ensure Dakota Tipi First Nation can undertake this work in a way that  respects their Dakota protocols.

Today, Chief Eric Pashe of the Dakota Tipi First Nation, and the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, announced funding over three years from the Residential School Children’s – Community Support Funding Program to support the First Nation’s plans to initiate the research of church and Hudson Bay Company records, Library and Archives Canada, St. Boniface Archives, National Centre of Truth and Reconciliation school records, and the National Air Photo Library to assess the number of children who may have attended the residential schools and to locate possible unmarked burial sites.

Addressing the harms suffered by Survivors, their families and communities is at the heart of reconciliation and is essential to renewing and rebuilding relationships with Indigenous Peoples, governments and all Canadians.

“This is a historic time for the Dakota people. The time has now come for our history to be properly told. It’s time for us to honour the first child who ever went to residential school, Inkabah, who was a Dakota girl. It’s time to gather around our Elders, our Survivors, our Children, our people. It’s time to honour their memories, to acknowledge this, and to do so in ceremony. The time has now come for us to get on the strong pathway and to move forward for all of our people. The time has now come for the truths to be told and however difficult these may be. Together, with the Crown, with the Government of Canada, with all Canadians and all of our people, we can do this and, in a good way, we will.” 

Eric Pashe, Chief

Dakota Tipi First Nation

“The leadership of the Dakota Tipi First Nation has worked tirelessly to ensure that the community is in a good position to begin the important and difficult work of searching archival records and undertaking fieldwork to investigate five former residential schools in Manitoba. The Government of Canada and all Canadians support the Residential School Survivor Project, which will be guided by a Survivor-led steering committee –  to contribute to the healing of Survivors and community of Dakota Tipi First Nation.”

The Honourable Marc Miller

Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations

Justine Leblanc

Press Secretary

Office of the Honourable Marc Miller

Minister of Crown–Indigenous Relations

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