Orangeville endorses residential school resolution

July 15, 2021   ·   0 Comments

By Sam Odrowski

Orangeville Council unanimously voted to endorse a resolution brought forward by Dufferin County last month regarding residential schools at their Monday (July 12) meeting.

The resolution calls on the federal government, in conjunction with indigenous people, determine a plan to investigate all residential school sites as needed to find any of the lost or missing children. It also states that in the spirit of reconciliation, the Roman Catholic Church be petitioned and/or legally compelled to provide the truth about actions taken as part of the residential school system.

In addition, the resolution requests that the federal government demand in the strongest possible terms the release of all church documents in Canada and at the Vatican that pertain to actions taken at residential schools in Canada, and that Pope Francis, leader of the Roman Catholic Church offer an apology to the indigenous peoples of Canada for their actions.

The resolution also calls on the federal government to take all necessary steps to provide Canada’s indigenous peoples with clean water, safe housing, health care, education and safety as well as security.

Following the endorsement of the resolution, under New Business, Mayor Brown took note of the tragic discoveries of mass unmarked graves outside of residential schools. With the discovery earlier this week of 160 more unmarked graves near Vancouver Island, the number of unmarked graves found since late May now exceeds 1,300.

“The news that has come out and will continue to come out of this story is unsettling to say the least,” he said. “We hope that the federal and provincial governments will be able to produce a report with full transparency and get the required information to release to the public on what has happened here.”

Mayor Brown said as a municipality, Orangeville needs to review the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report and ensure they’ve adopted all items that are being recommended of municipalities within the repot.

“I think that’s something we have to look at… before the end of this year – bring that forward, and making sure we’ve covered all those items off,” he remarked.

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