To help support the community’s healing needs, the government of Ontario is providing the Anishinaabe of Wauzhushk Onigum Nation with $515,079 in funding for the 2021-2022 fiscal year as part of the province’s $4 million investment in IRS-specific mental health and addictions funding. Indigenous Services Canada is also providing $70,000 to enhance community-based mental wellness programs and the delivery of cultural and emotional supports as part of this initiative. This funding is separate from the operational funding being provided to Wauzhushk Onigum Nation and other communities leading burial investigations across the province.
“Supporting the mental health and well-being of Indigenous peoples and communities, including Indian Residential School Survivors, remains a top priority for our government,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Indigenous Affairs. “We continue to seek direction from Indigenous partners to ensure culturally appropriate, trauma-informed mental health and wellness supports meet the needs of Indigenous communities.”
Funding will be used to conduct a healing needs assessment that will support the community as it continues its healing journey related to the deep and ongoing harms caused by the Indian Residential School system. This will include developing community-wide and individual healing plans, as well as mental health supports for children and youth. This initiative will also help fill additional staffing positions to address challenges including improving access to culturally responsive counselling and social service navigation for Survivors, families and community members.
Ontario recognizes that Indigenous people have faced barriers to accessing effective and safe mental health and trauma-focused care and is committed to providing Indian Residential School Survivors, Indigenous Elders, leaders and communities with the support they need.
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