AMC continues to be disappointed by the barriers of colonial bureaucracy
March 30, 2022
Treaty One Territory, Manitoba
Treaty One Territory, Manitoba – The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) issues this statement today in response to a federal official blocking a request for information by a survivors’ group that would have helped them to help identify four children who died at the Shingwauk and Wawanosh residential schools in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.
After having no luck in finding the names of these children elsewhere and running out of options, the Children of Shingwauk Alumni Association, requested assistance and information from the Federal government to access the Indian Status Register for the names of two boys and two girls who died while attending the institutions in the early 1900s. They were denied access with Canada citing privacy laws as the reasons behind the denial.
AMC Acting Grand Chief Eric Redhead stated, “Last spring, when First Nations across Canada were rocked with the devastating news of unmarked graves found at former residential schools, it was every First Nation citizens’ hope that these children would be named, their lives remembered and that they would make their way back home.
For decades, First Nations have been frustrated by the barriers of colonial bureaucracy when it comes to implementation of our Treaty rights in this country and to hear that federal bureaucrat continue to act in this manner when First Nation citizens are seeking answers about little ones who never made it home is appalling. This resistance and unwillingness to work together to find a solution is not a path to reconciliation. You cannot now cite privacy laws when you unlawfully removed these children from their homes and they never returned. These families and their Nations deserve information.
AMC calls on the Federal Government to grant access to the status registry for the purpose of honouring the children who are unnamed. They deserve to be brought home and their families given closure. This is one simple step on the path to healing and reconciliation and we implore the Federal government to work with survivors and all First Nation people to bring healing and closure.”