Legacy of Hope Foundation – Honours and Acknowledges the Inquiry of the MMIWG and its Final Report

Ottawa, ON) June 6, 2019 – The Legacy of Hope Foundation (LHF) would like to acknowledge and honour all of the Commissioners, the staff, the Elders and Knowledge-Keepers, as well as the Survivors, families, and communities who participated to bring this inquiry to its conclusion. The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls was launched in 2016, running for three years to produce its Final Report, released on Monday, June 3, 2019.

The report identifies a genocidal process that is empowered through colonial structures as a root cause for the disturbing numbers of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls in Canada as well as the Indigenous Two Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, and Asexual (2SLGBTQQIA) community. The contributing colonial structures that have contributed to the Genocide include the Indian Act, generations of Indigenous Peoples attending Residential Schools, children being apprehended in what is known as the Sixties Scoop, along with generations of oppression and racism and other human rights’ violations experienced by Indigenous Peoples, particularly women.

Most importantly, the Report points to a way forward for action, including many Calls for Justice. The authors of the report note that recommendations may be too mild a term. They urge their Calls for Justice to be seen as, “legal imperatives – they are not optional.” These calls touch upon many aspects of society. The LHF makes special note of the calls relating to Education. Under Calls for Educators, number 11.1, the authors, “call upon all elementary, secondary, and post-secondary institutions and education authorities to educate and provide awareness to the public about missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people, and about the issues and root causes of violence they experience.” Under Calls for Justice for All Canadians, number 15.2, they call upon all Canadians to “decolonize by learning the true history of Canada and Indigenous history in your local area. Learn about and celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ history, cultures, pride, and diversity, acknowledging the land you live on and its importance to local Indigenous communities, both historically and today.”

Education is an essential tool to move society towards healthier relationships and structures. By gaining awareness and education on the colonializing past and present, all Canadians will be better informed to take meaningful action that strives for healthy, and respectful relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Peoples. This is why it is vital that topics and courses on First Nations, Métis, and Inuit be made mandatory in public schools K-12. Knowledge about Indigenous Peoples needs to become common knowledge. The LHF encourages educational leadership across Canada to implement these calls to justice immediately and is ready to support schools with its resources.

The Legacy of Hope Foundation is a national Indigenous charitable organization whose purposes are to educate, raise awareness and understanding of the impacts of Residential Schools, including the Sixties Scoop and the intergenerational harms caused to First Nations, Inuit, and Métis. LHF aims to support the ongoing healing process of Survivors and their families and to work with Canadians to take action that will promote Reconciliation.

Media Contact Information:

Teresa Edwards, B.A. JD.
Executive Director and In-House Legal Counsel
Legacy of Hope Foundation
Phone:  613-237-4806 Ext. 303 info@legacyofhope.ca

Legacy of Hope Foundation Congratulates Dr. Cindy Swanson for completion of her Doctor of Philosophy in Education (Ph.D.)

(Ottawa, ON) April 2, 2019 – The Legacy of Hope Foundation (LHF) congratulates Dr. Cindy Swanson on completing her Doctor of Philosophy in Elementary Education (Ph.D.) from the Centre for Research for Teacher Education and Development (CRTED) in the Faculty of Education at the University of Alberta. Her research was a Narrative Inquiry alongside the Familial Curriculum Making Experiences of Urban Indigenous Children and Families.

Dr. Swanson is Métis residing in Edmonton, Alberta and has been involved in many initiatives over the years. She was appointed as a provincial member of the Métis National Youth Advisory Council. In 1998 she was appointed to the Aboriginal Healing Foundation’s Board of Directors as a youth member while she was an undergraduate student at the University of Alberta. She went on to teach and learn alongside children and families in elementary classrooms with the Edmonton Public School Board. Cindy has served on the Legacy of Hope Foundation’s Board of Directors since 2005 and now serves as the Secretary.

“Dr. Swanson’s experiences and knowledge in the area of education has informed our curriculum development program over the years,” said Teresa Edwards, Executive Director and In-House Legal Counsel for the organization. She continued, “We are honoured that Dr. Swanson continues to serve on our Board of Directors, and we are proud to have her as a dynamic driving force behind our education mandate.”

The Legacy of Hope Foundation is a national Indigenous charitable organization whose purposes are to educate, raise awareness and understanding of the impacts of Residential Schools, including the Sixties Scoop and the intergenerational harms caused to First Nations, Inuit, and Métis, and to support the ongoing healing process of Survivors and their families. Fulfilling this mandate contributes towards Reconciliation among generations of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Canada.

Media Contact Information:

Teresa Edwards, B.A. JD.
Executive Director and In-House Legal Counsel
Legacy of Hope Foundation
Phone:  613-237-4806 Ext. 303 info@legacyofhope.ca

Legacy of Hope Foundation Applauds the Federal Government’s Announcement to Settle with Survivors of Day Schools

(Ottawa, ON) March 25, 2019 – The Legacy of Hope Foundation applauds the recent use of negotiation by the Federal Government to settle a class-action lawsuit for former Indigenous students of Day Schools instead of attempting to resolve it by litigation. This class-action lawsuit was launched by the Indigenous Peoples (and their families) who attended these Day Schools and suffered harms and traumas as a result. Currently, the negotiated settlement is still only proposed and is awaiting ratification from the courts.

The negotiated Settlement also includes funding for projects that support the healing and wellness of class members as well as their communities, including initiatives such as education, language, culture, and commemoration. The Legacy of Hope Foundation encourages project funding that supports cultural revitalization and targets both individuals and communities.

A vital part of the healing process for Indigenous Peoples is the revitalization of their cultures, including their Indigenous languages, teachings, spirituality, and holistic health and well-being. The goal of these schools was to remove a way of living and being from an entire Peoples by targeting their children. Now, in response, we need Initiatives and community supports that address more than the individual attendees but also their families and communities to make a serious effort to heal from the damage and rebuild connections.

In the future, the Legacy of Hope Foundation would like to see the Federal Government use more negotiated Settlements over litigation, and to ensure that they address the harms done not only to individuals but the impacts they had on the whole community. Day Schools, like the Residential School System, were run with the goal of colonizing students and separating them from their language, culture, and spiritual identity. Additionally, like the Residential School System, many students at Day Schools also experienced abuses, including physical and sexual abuse. These schools were also run by the Federal Government and administered by the Churches. Former students continue to struggle with the complex traumas inflected on them while in the care of those who were supposed to protect and nurture them. This is a trauma that is carried by former students, their families, and their communities. Such harms require a great deal of support, treatment, and cultural revitalization to help individuals and their families not only survive but learn to thrive again.

The details of the proposed settlement include:

  • Compensations of $10,000 for Indigenous Peoples who experienced harms while attending federally-run Indigenous Day Schools and compensation of $50,000 to $200,000 for Indigenous Peoples who suffered physical and sexual abuse while in the care of these schools; and
  • An additional investment of $200 million to be given to the McLean Day School Settlement Corporation. These funds will be used to support additional Projects – initiatives such as the healing, wellness, education, language, and culture, as well as commemoration in support of class members as well as their communities.

Media Contact Information:

Teresa Edwards, B.A. JD., Executive Director and In-House Legal Counsel
Legacy of Hope Foundation
Phone:  613-237-4806 Ext. 303 info@legacyofhope.ca

Legacy of Hope Foundation Congratulates Dr. Cook on Receiving the National Indspire Award for Education and Achievement

(Ottawa, ON) March 25, 2019 – The Legacy of Hope Foundation congratulates Dr. Marlyn Cook on her National Indspire Award (Health 2019) for her 30 years of service as a family physician on reserve lands. Not only has Dr. Cook long-served her community but she was the first ever Cree woman to graduate from the University of Manitoba Faculty of Medicine as a Doctor. We are proud that Marlyn has served on the Legacy of Hope Foundation’s Board of Directors since 2005 and continues to be an active Member.

Originally from Misipawistik Cree Nation, in Manitoba, Marlyn began her career in healthcare as a nurse. After witnessing the racism Indigenous Peoples suffered in the healthcare system, Marlyn decided that she would become a Doctor so that she could advocate for Indigenous Peoples from within.

Over the years, Dr. Cook’s began to include Indigenous ceremony which she incorporated into her Western practice in order to re-instill a sense of pride, identity, and self-esteem. Dr. Cook has now returned to her hometown as a family physician in the Ongomiizwin Indigenous Institute of Health and Healing within the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Health Sciences and she continues to look for ways to incorporate traditional healing into Manitoba’s healthcare system.

“At the Legacy of Hope Foundation, we strive to tell Canada’s true history and the negative impacts that the Residential School System continues to have on Indigenous Peoples. It is from this understanding that we applaud the work of Dr. Marlyn Cook and her ground-breaking decision to integrate Indigenous ceremony into her practice and for her tireless efforts in advocating to eradicate racism from Canada’s healthcare system,” said Teresa Edwards, Executive Director and In-House Legal Counsel for the organization. She continued, “We are very proud to have such an accomplished Indigenous woman as part of our Board.”

The Legacy of Hope Foundation (LHF) is a national Indigenous charitable organization whose purposes are to educate, raise awareness and understanding of the impacts of Residential Schools, including the Sixties Scoop and the intergenerational harms caused to First Nations, Inuit, and Métis, and to support the ongoing healing process of Survivors and their families. Fulfilling this mandate contributes towards Reconciliation among generations of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Canada.

Media Contact Information:

Teresa Edwards, B.A. JD., Executive Director and In-House Legal Counsel
Legacy of Hope Foundation
Phone:  613-237-4806 Ext. 303 info@legacyofhope.ca(

PRESS RELEASE – LEGACY OF HOPE FOUNDATION APPLAUDS THE SASKATCHEWAN GOVERNMENT’S APOLOGY TO SURVIVORS FOR ITS PART IN THE SIXTIES SCOOP

(Ottawa, ON) January 11, 2019 – The Legacy of Hope Foundation (LHF) was heartened to hear that Premier Scott Moe made a formal apology to Survivors of the Sixties Scoop in Saskatchewan earlier this week.

“January 7, 2019 will go down in history as the Premier has issued an Apology to all the Survivors of the Sixties Scoop in Saskatchewan. The Apology is long overdue and is only the first step in moving Reconciliation forward for all the Indigenous Peoples in Saskatchewan, and across Turtle Island,” said Adam North Peigan, Board Member of the LHF and President of the Sixties Scoop Indigenous Society of Alberta.

Between the early 1950s to the late 1980s, thousands of Indigenous children were “scooped up” and taken away by the State from their families and communities and placed into foster or adoptive non-Indigenous homes, usually far away from all of their relatives. This practice which is commonly referred to as the “Sixties Scoop” resulted in the loss of Indigenous culture, history, identity, language, and for many led to loneliness, low self-worth, lack of identity, mental health issues, addictions, suicide, homelessness, incarceration and poor health outcomes.

“Although an Apology is symbolic and may often be required by law as part of a Settlement Agreement, my hope is that it will lead to positive commitments and concrete actions that do make a difference in the lives of those impacted,” said Teresa Edwards, Executive Director and In-House Legal Counsel at the LHF.

She continued, “The Millennium Scoop is a term used to describe the many children who continue to be apprehended by the Child Welfare System for reasons linked to poverty, racism and the imposition of another’s values on Indigenous Peoples. Governments need to ensure that we have learned from past mistakes and that we work together to prevent future crises from happening.”

The LHF applauds the efforts made today by the Saskatchewan Government in righting the wrongs and in demonstrating their commitment to Reconciliation moving forward and hopes others governments will follow in their footsteps.

About the Legacy of Hope Foundation:

The Legacy of Hope Foundation (LHF) is a national Indigenous charitable organization whose purposes are to educate, raise awareness and understanding of the impacts of Residential Schools, including the Sixties Scoop and the intergenerational harms caused to First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Peoples, and to support the ongoing healing process of Survivors. Fulfilling this mandate contributes towards Reconciliation among generations of Indigenous Peoples, and non-Indigenous people in Canada.

Media Contact Information:

Teresa Edwards

Executive Director and In-House Legal Counsel

Legacy of Hope Foundation

Phone: 613-237-4806 Ext. 303

info@legacyofhope.ca

PRESS RELEASE – LEGACY OF HOPE FOUNDATION EXPRESSES CONDOLENCES FOR THE PASSING OF LESLEY PARLANE

(Ottawa, ON) November 27, 2018 – Today, the Legacy of Hope Foundation (LHF) joins the community in mourning the passing of Lesley Parlane, a young Indigenous woman, passionate artist and creative story-teller, whose life was cut short.

 President, Richard Kistabish, on behalf of the LHF Board of Directors, and the LHF Staff offer condolences to the family, friends, and community who knew and loved Lesley Parlane. “We offer our heartfelt prayers to Lesley’s family and friends, and to all those who were touched by her presence and involvement within the community,” he said, adding, “we at the LHF are privileged and honoured to have had the opportunity to work with Lesley, and we are grateful to her contribution and participation in our exhibition, Bi-Giwen: Coming Home – Truth Telling from the Sixties Scoop.”

Lesley Parlane passed on to the spirit world on Saturday, November 24, 2018 after a courageous battle with breast cancer. Ms. Parlane (Dakota/Salteaux) was a member of Standing Buffalo Dakota First Nation in Fort Qu’Appelle, Saskatchewan, and was based in Ottawa, Ontario since 1998.

Lesley Parlane shared her life experiences as an Indigenous woman living in Canada. She spoke openly about being an inter-generational Survivor of the Residential School era, being a Sixties Scoop adoptee, and about her journey which involved reclaiming culture, making family connections, grieving her losses, as well as the importance of living a healthy life, practicing self-care and healing and recovery.

Teresa Edwards, LHF Executive Director and In-House Legal Counsel stated that, “Ms. Parlane was an inspiration to many who knew her. Her dedication and participation in increasing awareness of many issues, including that of the Sixties Scoop will continue to educate people for years to come. Lesley was a very strong and powerful woman who wanted to share her stories so that others could gain an understanding and build empathy for the plight of Indigenous Peoples. She also supported and honoured the journey to rediscovery and healing, and the path ‘home’ for those taken from their families. She will be greatly missed.” added Ms. Edwards.

Beginning before the 1960’s, Indigenous children were taken from their families, often forcibly and fostered and/or adopted out to non-Indigenous homes often far away from their communities and some across the globe. This has now been termed the Sixties Scoop, and its ongoing impacts continue to be felt to this day.

Lesley Parlane is featured in the LHF exhibit entitled Bi-Giwen: Coming Home – Truth Telling from the Sixties Scoop, which explores the experiences of Survivors of the Sixties Scoop. Developed in partnership with the National Indigenous Survivors of Child Welfare Network, this innovative and challenging exhibition features the first-person testimonies of twelve Indigenous Survivors of the Sixties Scoop, and reflects upon their pain, loss but also enduring strength, courage and resilience.

Lesley Parlane’s interview for the Bi-Giwen project can be found here:

http://www.legacyofhope.ca/bigiwen/lesleyparlane.html

The Legacy of Hope Foundation is a national, charitable Indigenous organization whose purpose is to educate and create awareness and understanding about the history of Residential Schools, including the intergenerational impacts on First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Peoples, the Sixties Scoop and to continue to support the ongoing healing process of Indigenous Survivors.

For LHF materials see: www.legacyofhope.ca

For more information, please contact:

Teresa Edwards, Executive Director and In-House Legal Counsel

Legacy of Hope Foundation

613-237-4806 ext. 303

info@legacyofhope.ca

PRESS RELEASE – NEW ONTARIO GOVERNMENT MAKES CUTS TO EDUCATION FOR RECONCILIATION 

July 10, 2018 (Ottawa, Ontario) – The Legacy of Hope Foundation (LHF) Executive Director and In-House Counsel Teresa Edwards is profoundly disappointed with the new Ontario Government’s announcement that they have canceled curriculum development sessions on Indian Residential Schools and Reconciliation that were set to begin yesterday.

“For 18 years the Legacy of Hope Foundation has been producing materials to educate and raise awareness on the issues of the Canadian Residential School System and its ongoing impacts,” said Ms. Edwards, “We were hopeful that the summer curriculum development sessions would produce a new, Indigenous-inclusive curriculum so that all Ontario students could hear Indigenous voices and become familiar with our experiences, worldviews and learn about the true history of Indigenous Peoples in Ontario. This feels as though we are taking a huge step backwards.”

All summer curriculum writing has been cancelled by the new Ontario Government. This includes the writing and revisions of e-learning courses, and the revisions in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commissions 94 Calls to Action.  Last Friday, the curriculum writing team received word that the that the summer 2018 curriculum writing sessions were cancelled, including the writing sessions that were organized in order to strengthen the learning connected to Indigenous perspectives, cultures and, histories in Ontario.

“The summer writing sessions were intended to revise Ontario’s curriculum and would have seen the Ministry of Education working together with Teachers, Indigenous community members, Elders, and Educators to produce a curriculum that tells our true history based on facts that were previously excluded,” said Ms. Edwards. “This Government needs to reconsider cancelling efforts to bring Indigenous voice, perspective to all Ontario students in order to work toward Reconciliation.”

Despite this setback, the LHF will continue to build on opportunities and community connections to further shape Indigenous-inclusive curriculum in Ontario, on an ad hoc basis and throughout Canada with those who are willing. By sharing Indigenous voices, experiences, worldviews, and accurate history we hope to eradicate racism and build more respectful and just relationships between Indigenous Peoples and Canadians.

The Legacy of Hope Foundation is a national, not-for-profit, Indigenous-run charity founded in 2000. As a leader in educating the public and raising awareness of Canada’s Residential School System and its aftermath and acting as an agent of positive change, its work includes exhibitions, workshops, curricula, media and other resources that are available by contacting the LHF at info@legacyofhope.ca

For More Information, please contact:
Teresa Edwards, Executive Director and In-House Legal Counsel
Legacy of Hope Foundation
Phone: 613-237-4806 Ext. 303
info@legacyofhope.ca

Press Release: Legacy of Hope Foundation and the Government of Canada unveil a Commemorative Exhibition to Honour Residential School Survivors and invite Canadians to join in the Reconciliation Movement

 (OTTAWA, ON) June 11, 2018 – The Legacy of Hope Foundation partnering with the Government of Canada will launch a commemorative exhibition to mark the 10th year anniversary of Canada’s historic Apology to former Residential School students and their families. The new exhibit is entitled “Remembering, Honouring, and the Way Forward: 10 Years After the Residential School Apology.”  The exhibition was developed to be interactive, featuring a hand-crafted basket that will hold messages of peace, hope, and Reconciliation from Canadians across Canada and from people worldwide.

“On June 11, 2008, then Prime Minister of Canada, the Right Honourable Stephen Harper, issued a Statement of Apology on behalf of Canada regarding the Residential Schools. On that day, history was made and over the last 10 years we have been working together towards Reconciliation in many areas,” said Teresa Edwards, Executive Director and Legal Counsel for the Legacy of Hope Foundation (LHF).

“Often times people will ask “why does there have to be an apology?” Without knowing, they have answered their own question. It means they likely don’t know about the horrific things that occurred to over five generations of Indigenous children, their families, communities, and Nations while at Government funded schools.  When the Government apologized, they accepted responsibility for what they did and what it caused and signaled to the rest of the country that this not only happened but that it was terribly wrong, and that we must learn from it, and behave differently going forward and build relationships based on respect, integrity and equality. We have been making advances, and we need to keep building on them – everyone has a role to play,” continued Teresa Edwards.

The Remembering, Honouring and the Way Forward exhibition will be on public display at Parliament Hill during the Summer of 2018. The public can also visit the Legacy of Hope Foundation (LHF) website at www.legacyofhope.ca to leave their own message of peace, hope, and reconciliation. Designed as a travelling exhibition, the exhibit will be first on display in the National Capital region before moving on to the Provincial and Territorial legislatures.

 The Legacy of Hope Foundation is a national, charitable Indigenous organization whose purpose is to educate and create awareness and understanding about the history of Residential Schools, including the intergenerational impacts on First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Peoples, families and communities and to continue to support the ongoing healing process of Residential School Survivors. For LHF materials see: www.legacyofhope.ca

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Media Contact Information:
Teresa Edwards
Executive Director and In-House Legal Counsel
Legacy of Hope Foundation
Ph: 613-237-4806 Ext. 303
info@legacyofhope.ca

Press Release: International Women’s Day 2018

(Ottawa, ON) March 8, 2018 – Today, the Legacy of Hope Foundation (LHF) joins the International community in celebrating and recognizing the vital role that women have in our communities and further marks International Women’s Day as an opportunity for Reconciliation in relation to Indigenous women and their rights.

March 8th- International Women’s Day is a day in which the global community takes the time to remember the important role of women in our communities and to call for equality to advance women and human rights. The theme for 2018, #PressforProgress highlights the importance of staying motivated and builds on International momentum towards gender parity and the need for a paradigm shift.

“In the last year, movements like #MeToo and #TimesUp have opened society’s eyes and challenged many people to be accountable, to be respectful and to consider what type of world we want to create,” stated Teresa Edwards, Executive Director and In-House Legal Counsel, of the Legacy of Hope Foundation. In recognizing and acknowledging the diversity of the International community, Ms. Edwards further added, “As we have these conversations, it is important to remember, that we must concurrently work to eliminate racism and discrimination which continues to impact Indigenous women so that we are advancing rights for all women.”
In many Indigenous teachings and communities, women are highly valued as the life and caregivers. Women are the healers and leaders, and form the heartbeat of our Nations. The LHF calls on all Canadians to reflect upon what Reconciliation means to them as they advocate for, and celebrate women, and how they can ensure that they too honour Indigenous women.

About the Legacy of Hope Foundation:
The Legacy of Hope Foundation (LHF) is a national Indigenous charitable organization whose purposes are to educate, raise awareness and understanding of the impacts of Residential Schools, including the intergenerational harms caused to First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Peoples, and to support the ongoing healing process of Residential School Survivors. Fulfilling this mandate contributes towards Reconciliation among generations of Indigenous Peoples, and between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Canada.

Media Contact Information:
Teresa Edwards
Executive Director and In-House Legal Counsel
Legacy of Hope Foundation
Ph: 613-237-4806 Ext. 303
info@legacyofhope.ca