Since May 2021: A Year of Grief, Action, and Change

This week marks one year since people throughout Canada and the world learned of the recovery of the remains of 215 children at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School in British Columbia. The past year has been a significant one for many reasons. During this time, we experienced profound grief as communities began the process of investigating the grounds of former residential schools. These processes have led to the identification of thousands of confirmed or suspected unmarked graves. Through this grief, however, we have also seen action from both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people working to appropriately address the legacy of harm. Canada has changed—it can never be the same.



A Year in Review

We want to thank you for your continued commitment to honouring the stories and truths of Indigenous people, communities, and all those affected by residential schools. No matter where you are on the path to reconciliation, there is always the opportunity to further your commitment through education, action, and connection.

As part of DWF’s efforts to help people in Canada educate themselves about reconciliation, here is a brief recap of some important developments from the past year:

May 27, 2021

Remains of 215 children found buried at former B.C. residential school, First Nation says

June 5, 2021

Royal assent given to bill creating national day for truth and reconciliation

July 1, 2021

Country reckons with horrific legacy of residential schools on Canada Day

Sept 24, 2021

Catholic bishops apologize for abuses at residential schools

Nov 2, 2021

Ontario to release death registrations of 1,800 Indigenous children

Dec 13, 2021

‘An important step’: Feds pledge up to $40B to compensate First Nations kids, reform child welfare

Jan 20, 2022

NCTR signs agreement with Ottawa to receive more residential schools records

Apr 2, 2022

Pope Francis apologizes to Indigenous delegates for ‘deplorable’ abuses at residential schools

Apr 29, 2022

Ottawa promises a national monument to survivors and victims of residential schools

May 18, 2022

One quarter of Canada’s Indian Residential Schools have grave searches underway


#215Pledge is a Commitment to Taking #reconciliACTION

As these truths continue to be told, it is our responsibility to continue learning about the longstanding history and impact residential schools continue to have today, and commit to taking action to move reconciliation forward. Share the 215+ Pledge today!

Share the Pledge



One Year Later Impact Report

The ongoing recoveries are a painful reality for many. We want to recognize and honour the lived experiences and truths of Indigenous people, communities, and all those affected by residential schools and the continued injustices experienced by Indigenous people and communities.

The recoveries were a turning point for truth and reconciliation in Canada as many people began their own journey towards reconciliation. Since last year, the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund has received an outpouring of support from people who were searching for a way to contribute meaningfully to moving reconciliation forward. With your help, DWF has made significant strides; take a look at how we made change together through our One Year Later Impact Report.

One Year Later Impact Report



Indigenous History Month

To celebrate Indigenous History Month, DWF is hosting four virtual events throughout the month of June. In addition to celebrating Indigenous history, culture, and arts, we will also be raising awareness of the true history and impact of Canada’s residential school system. All people in Canada, from coast to coast to coast, are invited to tune in for each of the events.

The themes for this year’s program are reflection, honour, and commitment, and will feature Indigenous teachings, artist performances, and cultural presentations from the Northwest Territories, Saskatchewan, and New Brunswick. Finally, the month will conclude with a special Canada-wide episode. The events can be viewed live on the dates and times listed above on DWF’s  Facebook page and YouTube channel. With so many incredible performances and guests, Indigenous History Month 2022 is shaping up to be an exciting celebration and we hope you will join us.

Register Today



Resources to Continue Your Learning Journey

Continued learning is critical for reconciliation. Continue your learning journey by taking a look at some of our recommended resources.

Educational Resources



Mental Health Resources

Mental Health Crisis Lines and Mental Health Resources for Indigenous Community Members

Hope for Wellness – Indigenous help line: 1-855-242-3310
Online chat:
Indian Residential School Survivor 24 Hour Crisis Line: 1-866-925-4419
Canada Suicide Prevention Service 24 Hour Crisis Line: 1-833-456-4566
Text 45645 (4PM – 12AM EST)
Kids Help Phone: Indigenous Peoples can connect with an Indigenous volunteer crisis responder, when available, by texting FIRST NATIONS, INUIT, or METIS to: 686868 for youth 741741 for adults


National Mental Health Crisis Support

Canada Suicide Prevention Service 24 Hour Crisis Line: 1-833-456-4566
Text 45645 (4PM – 12AM EST)
Kids Help Phone 24- Hour Services: 1-800-668-6868 or text CONNECT to 686868