Content warning: mentions of colonial violence, residential schools

We lower our flags today to join our community in mourning. The recent discovery in Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc has shaken many across the country, but we recognize that this unearthed tragedy is not a faraway event unique to British Columbia but a particular example of an on-going Canadian history of colonial violence. We remember today that the residential school system involved locations across Northwestern Ontario. This included one built initially on Fort William First Nation in 1870 and relocated to Franklin Street in what is now Thunder Bay in 1907. It was finally demolished in 1966, though the legacy of the school still stands.

We at NorWest Community Health Centres respond to individual and local community needs, and as a community health centre, we work to address the social determinants of health. This means working to promote social justice, to improve accessibility through the overcoming of system-based barriers, and to promote cultural diversity and inclusion.

Our flags will fly at half mast from May 31st to June 4th, to mirror our support for the Sacred Fire being lit today at the site of the former residential school to honour the spirits of the children and support the grieving and healing of the families, communities, and survivors.

If you need support, please contact:

the Nishnawbe Aski Nation NAN HOPE line at 1-844-626-4673 [1-844-NAN-HOPE]

the Indian Residential School Survivors Society at 1-800-721-0066

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