Memorandum of Understanding signed to ‘Bring the Children Home’
Tim Brody - Editor
A Memorandum of Understanding among the Bikiiwewinig Nindawaashishiiminaanak Initiative (Bringing Our Children Home), Northern Nishnawbe Education Council (NNEC), and Sioux Lookout First Nations Health Authority (SLFNHA) was signed on Oct. 19 in Thunder Bay.
The Bikiiwewinig Nindawaashishiiminaanak Initiative, led by Lac Seul First Nation, is mandated with “Bringing Our Children Home” by conducting searches for missing children who attended the former Pelican Lake Indian Residential School.
The Bikiiwewinig Nindawaashishiiminaanak Initiative, “is working with the Northern Nishnawbe Education Council and Sioux Lookout First Nations Health Authority to support Survivors, their families, and communities in uncovering the truth, create a healing path forward, and support the communities’ vision for memorialization and repatriation,” Lac Seul First Nation informed. The Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the partners to demonstrate their commitment to support each other and work together to Bring the Children Home.
“We don’t only want to bring the children home — we want to reclaim the child inside. We want lasting healing and truth. These memorandums are a symbol of the commitment being made to healing, and to reclaiming what was lost from the damage done by the residential school system,” stated James Cutfeet, Director of Operations, Bikiiwewinig Nindawaashishiiminaanak.
“For many years, our stories were ignored and the truth of what happened at Residential Schools was buried. Each time we gather here, we continue to uncover what happened and bring it to light. To reconcile, we must return the children back to the place that they belong. To finish the journey that began with them and must end with us,” said Lac Seul First Nation Chief Clifford Bull.
The signing of a Reaffirmation of Relationship among the Initiative and the governments of Ontario and Canada has been tentatively deferred until March.
The Reaffirmation of Relationship, Lac Seul First Nation shared, will promote, “the ongoing relationship between the governments and the Initiative to support the Survivors’ healing journey and working towards reclaiming what was lost through the Indian Residential School system.”