IRS Statement and Call to Action
Our hearts go out to the community of Tk’emlups Te Secwepemc First Nation, to the families and survivors of Residential Schools in Canada, and to the Indigenous people across Turtle Island that are heavy with grief right now. We are horrified and sadly unsurprised at the discovery of 215 Indigenous children at the Residential School in Kamloops. We support and amplify the calls of Indigenous people for accountability from all levels of government and from the perpetrators of these crimes at Residential Schools.
As settlers on Turtle Island we have a responsibility and duty to educate ourselves about the genocide and the atrocities of Residential Schools, the impacts, and the ongoing colonization of Indigenous People; and to take action now to address this harm. This is challenging and necessary work that all non-Indigenous people must do. Start with educating yourself, and then advocating with, and fighting for justice for Indigenous Peoples across Turtle Island.
The TRC Call to Action outlines three calls to action related to media and reconciliation, that while not specifically related to community radio, identify the work that needs to be done within media organizations so that there is more truthful storytelling, there is increased space on media platforms for Indigenous people, and a deeper commitment to equitable hiring practices.
There are many Indigenous folks and organizations that are doing the work to help offer education and resources to non-Indigenous people, and we thank them for their efforts. We recognize this is non-Indigenous people’s work to bear and we have compiled a list of resources and actions you can take:
- Simple actions you can take now are to display a teddy bear in your window, make a donation, and to pay your respects at some of the memorial sites set up across Winnipeg and Manitoba.
- Write letters to your MP’s, MLA’s, and city council members and demand that all levels of government recognize these actions for the heinous crimes that they are and pursue avenues of justice for IRS survivors and their families; demand that there are investigations at the remaining Residential School sites across Manitoba and Canada; demand that they re-commit to implementing the TRC calls to action immediately, demand that they take action on the Inquiry into MMIWG2S people immediately. Be specific and write a letter from your heart that calls for immediate action and accountability.
- Read the 94 Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and continue to take action in ways that you can based on these recommendations. http://trc.ca/assets/pdf/Calls_to_Action_English2.pdf
- You can read the names of the children who were known to have died at Residential School. Thi is a list of over 4,000 children. https://memorial.nctr.ca/?page_id=372
- You can watch Residential School Survivors testify for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Warning, this is horrifying and heartbreaking.
- Here is a list of films related to Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women to watch: https://www.kairoscanada.org/missing-murdered…/films
- You can educate yourself about the land you are on and the people whose land it is by visiting: https://native-land.ca/
- Read more by visiting the Winnipeg Public Library Residential Schools Info Guide: https://guides.wpl.winnipeg.ca/residentialschools
- You can pursue further education to learn more; there are lots of options but here is a free one: https://www.ualberta.ca/…/indigenous-canada/index.html
- Make a donation to the Indian Residential School Survivors Society. IRSSS provides essential services to Residential School Survivors, their families, and to those dealing with intergenerational traumas. https://www.irsss.ca/donate
Please reach out for support if you, or someone you know is in need, during this time. The National Indian Residential School Crisis Line has been set up to provide support for former students and those affected. The National Indian Residential School Crisis Line is 1−866−925−4419.
*This list was compiled in part from a post on Facebook written by Dawn Brennan