News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

August 4, 2022

Manitoba Government Announces Support for Commemorative Monument, Gathering Space at Former Assiniboia Residential School

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Memorial will Honour Resilience and Legacy of Children Lost to Families and Communities: Lagimodiere

The Manitoba government is providing $25,000 to partner with the Assiniboia Residential School Legacy Group (ARSLG) on the construction of a public memorial and commemorative monument at the site of the former Assiniboia Residential School in Winnipeg, Indigenous Reconciliation and Northern Relations Minister Alan Lagimodiere announced today.

“Our government is committed to working with Survivors, families, communities and leadership to ensure the history of residential schools is not forgotten,” said Lagimodiere. “This new memorial will honour the resilience and legacy of the students who attended the Assiniboia Residential School and will serve as an important site to commemorate the children who were lost to their families and communities.”

The Assiniboia Residential School was one of only a few urban residential schools in Canada and the first residential high school in Manitoba. Between 1958 and 1973, more than 750 students from 83 communities in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and northwestern Ontario attended the residential school.

The memorial will feature a circle of metal markers engraved with the Indigenous names of the 83 communities, and students’ names will be engraved in paving stones throughout the site. Information panels with photos and graphics will provide further history and background, the minister said.

The ARSLG is a non-profit organization that honours the legacy of the Assiniboia Residential School through commemorative and educational activities. The group was formed after a number of former students attended a 2017 reunion and includes four Survivors of the school, two intergenerational Survivors and two members from the local settler community.

“Our wish is to create a site to truly honour the Survivors and acknowledge their experiences,” said Rosa Walker, board member, Assiniboia Residential School Legacy Group. “It’s incumbent upon all of us, as governments, communities and individuals, to ensure our history – this truth – is captured and never forgotten. This site is for all of us.”

Other partners on this project include the City of Winnipeg, the Canadian Centre for Child Protection, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Westworth United Church and several other community partners.

“Telling the true history of residential schools is an important part of reconciliation,” said Lagimodiere. “Supporting this Survivor-led memorial that educates the public on this history is an important step in advancing reconciliation in Manitoba.”

The minister noted the funding announced today aligns with Manitoba’s Indigenous Reconciliation and Northern Relations’ commitment toward advancing reconciliation and ensuring the harms committed by residential schools, and their victims, Survivors and families are not forgotten.

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