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For immediate release
July 2, 2021
Treaty Five Territory, Thompson, MB – Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO) Inc. is issuing this statement in response to activities that took place in Treaty One Territory on July 1.
“MKO was a partner to an event called ‘No Pride in Genocide’ on July 1 along with the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, Southern Chiefs’ Organization, and The Treaty One Nation,” said Grand Chief Garrison Settee. “We were proud to be part of the peaceful walk and ride today in honour of the 215+ children who have been found in unmarked graves across the country. The powerful healing event was also held to honour the Survivors of Indian Residential Schools, Day Schools, and the Sixties Scoop.”
“There is much need for healing, which is clear from the large turn out to this event,” shared Grand Chief Settee. “While I was attending a graduation in Northern Manitoba on July 1, my understanding is there were two events being held in Winnipeg at the same time. As they marched down Portage Avenue, one group turned south to head to the Manitoba legislative building while our event travelled west to 1075 Portage to gather and share their stories in a peaceful way.”
Chief David Monias of the Pimicikamak Cree Nation shared, “Violence and destruction is not the Indigenous way! Never was… Our teachings were sacred and these teachings were part of the culture that was being destroyed by residential school and government. We followed great sacred teachings of love, respect, strength, truth, honesty courage and humility! I will not condemn the people as they are hurt mentally and emotionally because the truth that came out is hurtful and damaging and people experience post-traumatic stress disorder. We have to acknowledge the truth and address the truth! And then move to reconciliation!”
“MKO does not condone violence. I have reached out to Winnipeg Chief of Police Danny Smyth to let him know we do not condone violence. We want to continue to work on relationships with our partners and we hope for continued dialogue around the ongoing legacy of residential schools. We also are looking to see concrete actions for moving forward on the issue of healing multiple generations of people from the ongoing traumas caused by the discoveries of more and more children buried in unmarked graves.”
“Destruction of material things are nothing compared to the deliberate destruction of life and culture, said Chief Monias. “Material things are replaceable, but lives aren’t! Hiding our children’s remains and not returning them and not telling us where they are buried is even more damaging and we have to work on returning these children’s remains home. Let’s find them and help us find them! I don’t support violence, but our people are hurt!”
Our “No Pride in Genocide” event was not linked with the incident at the Manitoba legislature. We are committed to holding peaceful demonstrations and actions, and we thank all of our participants for being a part of our walk for residential school awareness.
For more information:
Melanie Ferris, MKO Communications
Email: [email protected]