On Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation

Published on January 26, 2021

MPP Anand's thirty-third Members' Statement was on the topic of "indigenous relations and reconciliation", delivered on 30 September 2020.

See full transcript below:

"I would like to acknowledge that we are meeting on the treaty lands and territory of the Mississaugas of the New Credit, traditionally inhabited by Indigenous people. As a settler, I am grateful for the opportunity to meet here and would like to say thank you. Thank you for all the generations of people who have taken care of this land for thousands of years.

Mr. Speaker, I rise to acknowledge Orange Shirt Day, recognized on September 30, the day inspired by Phyllis “Jack” Webstad who, in 1973 at the age of six, attended her first day of school in Williams Lake, BC, wearing a brand new orange shirt gifted by her grandmother. When she arrived at the school, Phyllis’s new orange shirt was stripped and taken away from her, something she never wore again. Phyllis has courageously spoken about the devastating impact this action had on her dignity and self-worth, and how it made her feel as if her existence did not matter.

Today, I am wearing an orange shirt to become a part of the reconciliation journey, acknowledging the painful truth of the long-lasting, multi-generational impact of the residential school system on the Indigenous communities. As we move forward together on the path of reconciliation, I urge all Ontarians to honour survivors like Phyllis and their families who have bravely shared their experiences, and to commit to learning more about the legacy of the residential school system in Canada. We need to acknowledge that every child matters."