In Support of Indigenous Peoples' Search for Truth

July 11, 2021

Hello Community,

The past few months have brought us heartbreaking news on a mass burial site for up to 215 Indigenous children at a former residential school in Kamloops BC, and the unearthing of over 700 unmarked graves at a former residential school site in Saskatchewan.

The Indigenous Peoples of Canada (Inuit, First Nations and Métis) totalled an estimated 1,673,785 persons in the 2016 Census, 4.9% of Canada’s population. They speak over 70 languages. The First Nations peoples alone comprise over 600 Bands. They are a part of Canada’s fabric.

Regardless of their Band, language, or location, Indigenous Peoples have suffered tremendously at the hands of authorities: by any measure: life expectancy, prison population, suicide rates, live birth rates, income, access to clean water, or COVID-19 impacts, Indigenous Peoples lag behind the rest of the Canadian population. More information is available at

The Region of Waterloo is part of the Haldimand Tract, territory that was granted to the Six Nations Confederacy by the government of Quebec in 1784. It was given in compensation for their alliance with British forces during the American Revolution. The tract extends 6 miles on either side of the Grand River, for its entire length. The tract was never ceded- of the original 950,000 acres only 48,000 acres remain. We are living and working on the traditional territory of the Attawandaron (also known as Neutral), Anishinaabe, and Haudenosaunee peoples.

The Caribbean has been a melting pot of languages and cultures for centuries, including island Indigenous peoples like the Taino (“Arawaks”) and the Kalinagos (“Caribs”). We value that heritage, and by extension the heritage of the Indigenous Peoples of North America (“Turtle Island”). The original Indigenous peoples of the Caribbean are thought to have migrated from North America to the Antilles.

The CCAWR supports the Indigenous peoples of Waterloo Region and Canada in their efforts to heal from any generational trauma, including “truth and reconciliation” endeavours and a renewed focus on the 94 Calls to Action delivered in 2015 by Justice Murray Sinclair. The National Indian Residential School Crisis Line is available to provide emotional and crisis support for former students and those affected, by calling the 24-hour national crisis line at 1-866 925-4419.

Here are ways that you can show your support:

  • Write to your MPP and MP calling for an immediate search of every former residential school site for other mass graves