The Council has determined that it is inappropriate for MCFN to officially celebrate Canada Day again this year.
We are once again calling for a time to remember and honour the children that have been lost in residential schools.
July 1, 2022 will be an official Day of Mourning for Moose Cree First Nation and its Membership.
Moose Cree First Nation calls on all organizations in Moose Factory Island and Moosonee to stand with us in unity and to also declare July 1, 2022 as a Day of Mourning.
Discussions continue on the possibility of having a search done at the grounds of the former residential school in Moose Factory Island.
Statement from Chief Mervin Cheechoo
June 22, 2022
As well all know, unmarked mass graves were first found on the grounds of the former residential school in Kamloops BC in May 2021. Over the past year these sad discoveries continued to be made at the grounds of many former residential schools across Canada, and will likely continue to be made in the months ahead.
I know this is still on the minds of many of the Membership and that it is having a triggering effect for survivors and inter-generational survivors. It has been weighing heavily on our minds as well and the Council has discussed this issue at a recent Council meeting.
The Council has determined that it is inappropriate for MCFN to officially celebrate Canada Day again this year given that the results of the destructive policies of the federal government that were enacted for decades are being made so glaringly evident in the horrifying discoveries of these mass unmarked graves of children.
Council is once again calling for a time to remember and honour the children that have been lost by our brothers and sisters in First Nations across Canada and for us to remember and honour our own that died in residential schools in Moose Factory and elsewhere. To that end, Council signed a Band Council Resolution which declares that July 1, 2022 will be an official Day of Mourning for Moose Cree First Nation and its Membership.
Over the next day tens we will be sharing suggestions on ways the Membership, regardless of where they live, can engage in acts of remembrance of the children that have been lost and as acts of solidarity with all the families that still grieve.
Moose Factory Island and Moosonee are the heart the Moose Cree First Nation traditional territory and I call on all organizations in Moose Factory Island and Moosonee to stand with us in unity and to also declare July 1, 2022 as a Day of Mourning. I also encourage all citizens of Moose Factory Island and Moosonee to join with us on the Day of Mourning to also engage in acts of remembrance, in honour of those that have been lost.
Council has also discussed the need for us to continue the process of examining our own residential school experience as a Nation, to determine what progress has been made with healing and recovery and where more efforts are needed.
Discussions are also continuing on the possibility of having a search done at the grounds of the former residential school in Moose Factory Island. I am aware that these are highly sensitive topics for many of our Membership and any such plans would be developed with the Membership, particularly the survivors. Details on these discussions will be announced in the weeks and months ahead.
As I mentioned earlier, the attention this issue has been receiving lately has been triggering many people, I encourage you reach out for help if you feel you need it.
Help is available
The MCFN Health & Wellness team includes several caring and highly qualified counsellors. Speaking with one of them would be a safe and confidential way for you get some help. I encourage our Membership, wherever they may live, to reach out and speak to someone if it is needed.
The MCFN Health & Wellness team provides services to all the Membership, regardless of where they live. Call 705-658-4619 extension 256 to speak with a counsellor or to make an appointment.
Or here are a few other sources you can use to speak to someone: