Submitted by Yasir Naqvi, MP for Ottawa Centre
As a community, and as a nation, we are mourning the loss of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. She was a constant presence through most of Canada’s history. We reflect on the legacy she has left behind, and the many lives she has touched. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will be remembered for a lifetime of public service, which she led with grace and dignity. I wish to express my deepest condolences to the entire Royal Family. May she rest in peace.
Canadians are invited to visit the Government of Canada’s commemorative website and sign the online book of condolences, as well as learn more about the transition of the Crown and what it means for Canadians at canada.ca
We also reflect on our country’s history and relationship with Indigenous Peoples as Sept. 30 marks the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
Recently, I was honoured to announce, on behalf of the Government of Canada, investments totalling more than $4 million to support 278 community projects all across the country and two major national projects: a national commemorative gathering on Sept. 30 in Ottawa, and an educational program week for students. This funding was awarded to support commemoration activities for the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. The selected projects will help raise awareness of the history and impact of residential schools and promote healing and reconciliation.
I often speak with my children about the honour we have to live on the unceded and unsurrendered territory of the Algonquin people. It is our collective responsibility to work closely with Indigenous Peoples to learn the truth about colonization. Whether your family came to this country generations ago, or you are a recent immigrant, this is everyone’s responsibility as a citizen. I recognize my duty every day to seek out the truth, and, as a settler, learn from elders and work with Indigenous leaders and communities towards reconciliation.
Recognizing the tragic history and impact of residential schools is essential to the healing and reconciliation process. Canada is committed to continuing its efforts to pursue truth and reconciliation, to right historical wrongs and to support communities in their efforts to foster healing for the survivors of residential schools, their families and communities.
Former residential school students can call 1-866-925-4419 for emotional crisis referral services and information on other health supports from the Government of Canada. Indigenous peoples across Canada can also go to the Hope for Wellness Help Line 24 hours a day, seven days a week for counselling and crisis intervention at 1-855-242-3310.