KUUJJUAQ – May 31, 2021 – The Makivvik, on behalf of the Inuit of Nunavik, join Indigenous leaders from across Canada in expressing our sadness and our solidarity with the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation upon their discovery of 215 Indigenous children buried on the grounds of the former Kamloops Residential School. Beginning today, flags will be flown at half-mast in Kuujjuaq in honour of the young lives stolen.
“Each one of those 215 children had a family who loved them. Each one of them had been ripped away from those families because they were Indigenous,” said Pita Aatami, President of Makivvik. “The legacy of residential schools is an unrelenting horror. There is no escaping the fact that there will be more of these discoveries. Many children went missing. It is time to search the grounds of all residential schools and bring them home.”
Many Inuit children from Nunavik attended residential schools. The lasting effects have led to intergenerational trauma which is evidenced in the high rate of suicide, school dropouts, unemployment, and violence in our communities. Health officials and the Inuit population have known for years that the residential school era holds much of the blame for the social challenges Inuit face.
“Inuit of Nunavik have been permanently marked by the atrocities inflicted upon our families by the unholy residential school system and provincial foster care. It is time that all Canadians faced these truths and join together to demand that the 94 “Calls to Action” contained in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report are implemented. There is a reckoning coming and it must be led by non-Indigenous Canadian people in solidarity with Inuit, First Nations and Metis. We must acknowledge the truth of Canada’s past and create safeguards to ensure it can never happen again,” concluded Pita Aatami.
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Makivvik is the land claims organization mandated to manage the heritage funds of the Inuit of Nunavik provided for under the James Bay and Northern Québec Agreement. Makivvik’s role includes the administration and investment of these funds and the promotion of economic growth by providing assistance for the creation of Inuit-operated businesses in Nunavik. Makivvik promotes the preservation of Inuit culture and language as well as the health, welfare, relief of poverty, and education of Inuit in the communities.