IMAGINE…waiting for your child to finally come home from residential school and they never show up because of who they are.
IMAGINE….the anguish in your heart waiting…wondering…worrying what happened to your child because of who they are.
IMAGINE…the stories you heard from children who were lucky to make it home but you can’t do anything about it because of who you are.
IMAGINE….not having your voice heard when you can’t find your child because of who you are.
IMAGINE….being beaten, berated, sexually abused, tormented, starved, dehumanized, murdered because of who you are.
IMAGINE….never seeing your family again because now you are dead, murdered…simply for being who you are.
IMAGINE…being tossed into an unmarked grave, forgotten, erased…eradicated because of who you are.
IMAGINE….30….40….50 years or more later your remains are found next to the school that stole your life because of who you are.
IMAGINE….finding many more graves of children who died horrific deaths because of who they are.
IMAGINE….finally going home where you belong with your people who know who you are.
IMAGINE….your identity is uncovered and your spirit being put to rest near your mom or dad who died waiting for you because of who they are.
IMAGINE…..the government and church responsible for your death can no longer hide or deny the inhumane treatment you received because of who you are.
IMAGINE….standing next to unmarked graves and demanding that justice be served for the senseless acts perpetrated upon innocent children because of who they are.
IMAGINE…..your government did this to your non-indigenous children and you never saw them again just for being who they are.
IMAGINE….you do the right thing and demand from your government that the 215 (and counting) graves be identified and returned back to their home for a proper burial because of who they are.
IMAGINE….identifying the remaining living perpetrators and prosecuting them accordingly because many of them are still alive and got away with murder because of who they are.
IMAGINE….that finally society looks at Indigenous people with greater understanding of who they are.
Who are they?
We are human….just like you.
June Taylor is a Senior Advisor at the Ministry of Indigenous Affairs. She is Mik’maq and Anishinawbe from Sipekne'katik and Wikwemikong First Nations and a mother of 2 children and 2 grandchildren who were raised with strong cultural and spiritual beliefs.
June is National Indigenous History month. This year the Indigenous History Month is dedicated to is dedicated to the missing children, the families left behind and the survivors of residential schools.
June 21, 2021 is the national 25th anniversary of National Indigenous Peoples Day, one that commemorates the heritage, diverse cultures, histories and achievements of First Nation, Inuit and Metis Peoples.
On National Indigenous Peoples Day all Canadians to recognize and celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. The Canadian Constitution recognizes these three groups as Aboriginal peoples, also known as Indigenous peoples. Although these groups share many similarities, they each have their own distinct heritage, language, cultural practices, and spiritual beliefs.
In cooperation with Indigenous organizations, the Government of Canada chose June 21, the summer solstice, for National Aboriginal Day, now known as National Indigenous Peoples Day. For generations, many Indigenous peoples and communities have celebrated their culture and heritage on or near this day due to the significance of the summer solstice as the longest day of the year.
National Aboriginal Day (now National Indigenous Peoples Day) was announced in 1996 by then Governor General of Canada, Roméo LeBlanc, through the Proclamation Declaring June 21 of Each Year as National Aboriginal Day. This was the result of consultations and statements of support for such a day made by various Indigenous groups.
In 1982, the National Indian Brotherhood (now the Assembly of First Nations) called for the creation of National Aboriginal Solidarity Day
In 1995, the Sacred Assembly, a national conference of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people chaired by Elijah Harper, called for a national holiday to celebrate the contributions of Indigenous People
In 1995, the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples recommended the designation of a National First Peoples Day
On June 21, 2017, the Prime Minister issued a statement announcing the intention to rename this day National Indigenous Peoples Day.
Information found online here