Ontarians must ‘commit to taking action’ on Indigenous issues, says Premier Doug Ford – ThePeterboroughExaminer.com

Premier Doug Ford attends an event to mark Canada’s first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation at Massey College in Toronto on Sept. 30, 2021.

By Kristin RushowyQueen’s Park Bureau

Thu., Sept. 30, 20211 min. read

Thursday was a day to “remember our losses and pain” and to reflect on those who lived through the residential school system — and those who didn’t survive it, said the chief of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation at a ceremony at the University of Toronto.

“Today we remember our losses and pain and we reflect upon all of those who didn’t come home … (and) all those who lived through the residential school system,” Chief R. Stacey Laforme told the ceremony at Massey College.

“The pain and the hurt and the grief — the grief of the losses has been strong,” he said, adding he has hope for change in the future “because of the understanding that this is not only the loss of Indigenous children, this is the loss of our children.”

Premier Doug Ford, who also spoke at the event marking the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, said Ontarians “need to face the dark chapter” of the residential school history and the discoveries of mass graves on those sites, and “commit to taking action.”

“For generations, Indigenous peoples have endured the harsh realities and impact of residential schools,” Ford said.

“I hope everyone can attend a local event today, be it in person or virtual, to learn more about the impact of residential schools. This is an opportunity for us to reflect and strengthen our relationships with Indigenous people. An opportunity for us to play an active role in supporting healing and reconciliation.

Lieut.- Gov. Elizabeth Dowdeswell spoke of the “far-reaching and devastating impacts” of the residential school system.

“Doing nothing ends here,” she said.

Nathalie Des Rosiers, the principal of Massey College and a former Liberal MPP, said the community “wants to stand in solidarity with Indigenous people in reflecting on the legacy and the responsibility to acknowledge history and to mourn the lost generations.”