(Toronto, ON, June 25, 2020) Ontario Regional Chief RoseAnne Archibald celebrates the Indigenous Class of 2020, their friends, families, and communities who have supported them along the way and encourages all to seize the opportunity to create a future where everyone is treated equally, with love and care.

“On behalf of the Chiefs in Ontario, we would like to congratulate all the Indigenous Graduates across Canada and commend their hard work and dedication to their journey to education and a brighter future for future generations.

Due to the challenges posed by COVID-19, such as your school year being cut short and becoming subject to new ways of education, like virtual learning and online teaching, you were also unable to celebrate your graduation ceremony amongst your family and friends, as you usually would.

In a time where we are unable to gather, we encourage you to look for creative ways to celebrate and acknowledge the hard work and dedication you displayed in reaching these important milestones and remember that regardless of whether we are apart, we are all interconnected and together.

Your friends, families, teachers, aides and communities who have supported you along the way are not only celebrating your move to the next grade, certificate, diploma or degree; they’re celebrating the journey and dedication it took to get here. To all those who have supported our 2020 Indigenous Graduates, thank you for the love, care and guidance you provided to our future generation of change-makers.

Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic, and witnessing the many anti-racism demonstrations taking place across the globe, I urge you to use this opportunity to not only build on the career foundation you want but also build on the person you want to be, and lead with deep and abiding love and care for your fellow peers.

On behalf of the Chiefs of Ontario, we hope that you will be able to draw upon your education and energy, to help create a better, brighter society, built on trust and equality. As the next generation of graduates, you are on the cusp of creating real change, and you have the opportunity to create this ‘new’ normal. As young people, you have a chance to take these valuable lessons from past generations with you into the future. With the demonstrated strength and resilience you have shown over the years, I have great hope for what you will accomplish.”

In addition to congratulating the Indigenous Class of 2020, the Chiefs of Ontario would like to acknowledge Averi Doxtator, who will be graduating herself from graduating from École Franco-Cité, in Ottawa, for her kind heart in helping develop and implement the grassroots initiative to recognize the achievements of Indigenous Graduates across the country during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

This initiative, Indigenous Graduates 2020, asks graduates and their supporters to share images, videos, and reflections on social media with the hashtag #IndigenousGrad2020. We encourage everyone to come together on June 26, 2020, to watch the online live stream where all collected media will be showcased. The live-stream is available here: https://indigenousgrad2020.ca/

“To all the Indigenous Graduates across the country, educational journey and resilience have prepared you to continue your work toward your goals. Indigenous Graduates are all truly a bright light, and you bring us hope during these dark times. We wish all the best as you continue your journey and that you go confidently in the direction of your dreams, living the life you have always imagined. We are very proud of your perseverance, hard work, and dedication to getting here.”


Ontario Regional Chief RoseAnne Archibald


The Chiefs of Ontario is a political forum and a secretariat for collective decision making, action, and advocacy for the 133 First Nation communities located within the boundaries of the province of Ontario, Canada. Follow Chiefs of Ontario on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter @ChiefsOfOntario.

Chiefs of Ontario – Media Contact:
Genna Benson
Communications Officer
Telephone: 416-523-4020
Email: Genna.Benson@coo.org