Statement on the Marieval Indian Residential School unmarked graves discovery

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Leaders of the Cowessess First Nation in Saskatchewan, revealed details of the discovery of 751 unmarked graves that many believe are the remains of Indigenous children. The discovery on the site of the former Marieval Indian Residential School comes just weeks after discovery of remains of 215 Indigenous children in Kamloops, BC.

We grieve for the lives of these children, for the memories that were stolen from their loved ones and for the unanswered questions about their whereabouts for decades.

Between 1831 and 1996, Canada's residential school system forcibly separated about 150,000 Indigenous children from their families. The abuse they experienced was described by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of 2015 as "cultural genocide".

At Children’s Aid Society of Toronto, we acknowledge the impact of colonization and the role of child welfare on Indigenous children and their families. We are committed to reconciling our history, sharing knowledge and rebuilding relationships with Indigenous peoples. To support Indigenous children, youth and families in their communities and connect them with culturally-relevant resources, we continue to partner with Native Child and Family Services of Toronto along with the 11 Indigenous child welfare agencies in Ontario.