Trigger warning: This page deals with topics that may cause trauma invoked by memories of past abuse. To access a 24-hour National Crisis Line, call: 1-866-925-4419. 

Introduction

Many First Nations have been working for years to recover the remains of the lives taken in Residential Schools, Day Schools, Indian Hospitals, and Industrial Schools. These ongoing efforts have received national attention and recognition as a result of the hundreds of unmarked graves that were confirmed across Canada in the summer of 2021.

The following information and resources are meant to offer support for First Nations and community members in understanding where to access services for mental health, consolidating websites and resources on site searches, and contacts for funding. These lists are not exhaustive and will be periodically updated in a way to best support communities and Residential School site representatives in initial stages of working to bring our missing children home. For more information, please contact the Chiefs of Ontario Indian Residential School Coordinator Holly Hughes at holly.hughes@coo.org.

List of Residential Schools in Ontario:

  • Bishop Horden Hall (Moose Fort, Moose Factory), Moose Island, Ontario
  • Cecilia Jeffrey (Kenora, Shoal Lake), Kenora, Ontario
  • Chapleau (St. John’s), Chapleau, Ontario
  • Cristal Lake High School (September 1, 1976 to June 30, 1986)
  • Fort Frances (St. Margaret’s), Fort Frances, Ontario
  • Fort William (St. Joseph’s), Fort William, Ontario
  • McIntosh, McIntosh, Ontario
  • Mohawk Institute, Brantford, Ontario
  • Mount Elgin (Muncey, St. Thomas), Munceytown, Ontario
  • Pelican Lake (Pelican Falls), Sioux Lookout, Ontario
  • Poplar Hill, Poplar Hill, Ontario
  • Anne’s (Fort Albany), Fort Albany, Ontario
  • Mary’s (Kenora, St. Anthony’s), Kenora, Ontario
  • Shingwauk (Wawanosh Home), Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
  • Spanish Boys School (Charles Garnier, St. Joseph’s, formerly Wikwemikong Industrial), Spanish, Ontario
  • Spanish Girls School (St. Joseph’s, St. Peter’s, St. Anne’s formerly Wikwemikong Industrial), Spanish, Ontario
  • Stirland Lake High School/Wahbon Bay Academy (September 1, 1971 to June 30, 1991)
  • Wawanosh Home (January 1, 1879 to August 5, 1892), Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

Mental Health Supports

Indian Residential School: Mental Health Supports

Access to mental health supports that are culturally safe and available to all community members either by phone or online are essential to protecting our spirit and well-being during this difficult time for our communities.

The Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line: Call: 1-866-925-4419.

The crisis line is available 24 hours a day for anyone experiencing pain or distress as a result of a residential school experience. For more information on the program, please refer to the First Nations Health Authority website.

Professional Counselling

Professional counselling is offered by psychologists and social workers who are registered with Indigenous Services Canada through Non-Insured Health Benefits and the Program.

Coverage:

  1. The initial assessment covered – 2 hours
  2. Counselling sessions covered are 60 hours 1-2 hour sessions (If the client is traveling to the counseling session minimum of 2 hours needs to be booked)

All former Indian Residential School students regardless of the individual’s status or place of residence, and family members that have been directly impacted, are eligible to receive services. Please visit the Indian Residential Schools Resolution Health Support Program website for more information.

The Hope for Wellness Help Line offers immediate help to all Indigenous peoples across Canada in the following languages: Ojibway, Cree, Inuktut, English, French. They provide 24/7 culturally grounded assessment, referrals, counselling and support in times of crisis, and suicide intervention.

Call: 1-855-242-3310 (toll-free)

Connect to the Hope for Wellness online chat.

Talk 4 Healing provides 24/7 culturally sensitive counselling, advice and support to Indigenous women, in the following languages: Ojibway, Oji-Cree, Cree, English, French.

Call: 1-855-554-4325 or visit the Talk 4 Healing website for online support.

Provides 24/7 support to family, friends and community members who are being impacted by the loss of a missing or murdered Indigenous woman, girl or Two-spirit person, in English and French.

Call: 1-844-413-6649

Call Auntie is a service offered to the Indigenous community in Toronto through the Seven Generation Midwives. The helpline began as a service to provide COVID-19 information and resources but has since evolved to support overall health and well-being through staying connected with one another during the pandemic.

Call: 437-703-8703

Visit the Call Auntie Clinic Website for more information.

NAN Hope is the Nishnawbe Aski Mental Health and Addictions Support Access Program for NAN community members. The program provides crisis services, navigation on mental health and addictions support services and rapid access to counselling.

Call: 1-844-626-4673

Visit the NAN Hope website for more information.

The Council provides a network of Indigenous primary health care services, teams and centres.

View the map of local IPHCC members to find a health care service near you.

Friendship Centres offer a wide variety of programming for the cultural, spiritual, and overall well-being of urban Indigenous peoples across Ontario. Visit the Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centre’s website to find your local friendship centre.

Canada Suicide Prevention Helpline

This Helpline is available 24/7 for anyone is who thinking about suicide, who knows someone who is considering suicide, or is struggling with a loss from suicide. Please visit the Canada Suicide Prevention Service website for more information.

Call: 1-833-456-4566

Kids Help Phone

Provides 24/7 anonymous and non-judgmental support to youth and teens with services in English and French.

Call: 1-800-668-6868 or visit the Kids Help Phone website for more information on their services.

Resources

Indian Residential School: Resources

The following resources include expert organizations that can offer information or guidance about the technical aspects of Residential School searches, such as background information on accessing records and understanding radar technology. Please note that COO does not endorse these sites or services, and is sharing these resources for information purposes only.

The CAA has designated web content to assist communities and organizations in their efforts to locate missing children and search potential unmarked burial sites. This information is updated as it becomes available.

Visit the CAA website for more information.

The NCTR website contains vast amounts of information for survivors and their families, along with reports, records, and further educational supports.

Visit the NCTR website for more information.

Based out of Queens University, Geophysics For Truth is a volunteer initiative of geophysicists that provide support and information regarding geophysical surveys, training, and expertise for Indigenous projects across Canada.

Visit the Geophysics for Truth website for more information.

For further information on geophysics, please see “Geophysics and Unmarked Graves, A Short Introduction for Communities” by William T. D. Wadsworth.

Tk̓emlúps te Secwépemc, in partnership with the CAA and the Institute of Prairie and Indigenous Archaeology, offered this free webinar on best practices in remote sensing and grave detection.

The National Centre for Truth & Reconciliation hosted a panel discussion of academics entitled, “Academic Panel on Missing Children.”

The National Centre for Truth & Reconciliation hosted an online panel entitled, “A Survivors Panel on Missing Children.”

Funding

Indian Residential School: Funding

Please see below funding resources. If you are looking for specific support, please reach out to the Chiefs of Ontario Indian Residential School Coordinator Holly Hughes at holly.hughes@coo.org.

On August 10, 2021, the Government of Canada announced approximately $320 million in support for Indigenous-led, Survivor-centric, and culturally sensitive initiatives and investments to help Indigenous communities respond to and heal from the ongoing impacts of residential schools. This funding is intended for activities related to an Indian Residential School listed in the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement. These activities could include local research, engagement and knowledge gathering – memorialization or commemoration, bringing children home, or others.

To access funding, a PDF application is available to fill out.

Contact Person:

Mandy McCarthy, Acting Director General Director, Policy, Planning and Reporting Settlement Agreements and Childhood Claims Branch, Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs

Phone: 873-353-3463;
Email:  amanda.mccarthy@canada.ca
General email: aadnc.enfants_disparus-missing_children.aandc@canada.ca

Indigenous Affairs, Ontario (IAO)

The roll out of Ontario’s $10 million in funding will be led by IAO in collaboration with Indigenous leaders to establish processes that will guide the work related to Indian Residential School site identification, investigation, protection, and commemoration. This process has yet to be finalized.

Contact Person:

Rebecca Ramsarran (IAO), Assistant Deputy Minister, Indigenous Affairs: Strategic Policy and Planning Division
Phone: 416-520-9664;
Email: rebecca.ramsarran@ontario.ca

Deputy Minister Shawn Batise (IAO)
Phone: 416-314-1414
Email: shawn.batise@ontario.ca

National Centre for Truth & Reconciliation

NCTR’s Na-mi-quai-ni-mak Community Support Fund is available to support Indigenous communities, Survivor Organizations, registered non-profits, and others with small grants for memorial activities. Visit the NCTR website for more information on the fund.

Contact Person:

Brooke Bunn, Commemoration and Community Engagement Liaison
Phone: 204-474-6069
Email: brooke.bunn@umanitoba.ca

Contact the Chiefs of Ontario

Holly Hughes
Indian Residential School Coordinator
holly.hughes@coo.org
Office: (416) 597-1266
Toll-Free: 1-877-517-6527

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