The federal government says $320 million in new funding will be allocated to support communities and survivors dealing with the ongoing impacts of residential schools.
The money will in part pay for further efforts to find and search burial sites, manage the sites of former residential schools, commemorate residential school history, and expand emotional and mental health services, Ottawa said on Tuesday.
Communities can apply for support through a federal funding program. It was not clear whether any of the money will be specifically targeted toward or reserved for northern nations and communities.
“We know that Indigenous communities, families and friends are hurting. There isn’t a single community that is not grieving today,” Marc Miller, federal minister of Indigenous affairs, said in a statement.
“For months and years, we have heard atrocious anecdotes that only remind us that calling those ‛schools’ can only be a euphemism.
“Now is the time to start fulfilling our duty to help First Nations, Inuit, and Métis recover the truth.”
Ottawa says it is working to assemble a National Advisory Committee, comprised of experts and Indigenous knowledge-holders, to advise communities and the Canadian government on locating burial sites.
“The legacy of the residential school system is a painful reminder to us all, as Canadians, of past wrongs,” said northern affairs minister Daniel Vandal in a news release. “We must come together on the shared path toward reconciliation.”