Today we mourn and honour the lives and great loss of the Indigenous children who never returned to their homes across Kanata.
Another 182 human remains were found at the site of a former residential school that housed children taken from their families. This gut-wrenching news follows two other reports of similar findings at two church-run forced assimilation schools, one of more than 600 unmarked graves and another of 215 bodies.
Our hearts go to the the Sioux Valley Dakota Nation, the bands of the Ktunaxa nation, which includes the Lower Kootenay Band, aqam and other neighbouring First Nation communities, and their families and friends.
At this time of pain and remembrance, Black Theatre Workshop speaks from the traditional and unceded Indigenous lands of the Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) nation of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. Tiohtià:ke, also known as Montreal, has been the site of human creativity and storytelling for millennia, and has served as a meeting place of many First Nations peoples, including but not limited to the Abenaki, Anishinaabeg (Algonquin) and Huron-Wendat.
Weeks ago, the Canadian flag was lowered across the country to pay respects to the children. Today we will not celebrate the holiday known as Canada Day to pay our respects. Government officials should show their respects by doing everything in their power to stop the genocide against Indigenous people, respect their lands and traditions, and give them the power to manage and decide their futures so they can celebrate their legacy. Paying respects without taking action means nothing.
Black Theatre Workshop stands in solidarity to all Indigenous groups in Kanata.