Statement about July 1

As Pride month and Indigenous History Month ends, we have taken time to reflect and wanted to share our reflection with you. These reflections have been informed by reading the words of many Two-Spirit and Indigenous folks.

Content Notes: AIDS crisis, Residential Schools, Genocide, Colonialism

We have many discussions about the impact of the AIDS crisis in the community and how inaction from governments and those in positions of power are responsible for the deaths of thousands of Queer folks.

2SLGBTQ+ youth have learned about how the loss of an entire generation during the AIDS crisis has resulted in a loss of sexual and gender diversity in that generation. We grieve the loss of beautiful lives that could STILL be flourishing in our 2SLGBTQ+ communities if they had not been taken away.

These events are not limited to the past, they are very much in the present.

With each recovery of unmarked individual and mass graves at residential schools across the country, we are reminded of how cultural genocide and colonialism have taken the lives of Two-Spirit and Indigiqueer youth.

These youth did not have the opportunity to flourish and explore their identities free of the impacts of colonization.

These youth did not have the opportunity to write their own stories and experience the Queer love we have been celebrating all month. Residential "schools" stole so much from all youth who attended, as well as their families and communities.

This pain is intergenerational and Indigenous folks are continuously reliving this pain and trauma as each new grave is uncovered. For generations, Indigenous folks have experienced gaslighting from non-Indigenous folks and those in positions of power.

July 1 is a national holiday that contributes to this continued gaslighting of Indigenous peoples. In replacement of fireworks and celebration, Indigenous folks have been asking people to read and have conversations with their families and peers about the “Truth & Reconciliation Calls-To-Action” and the “Murdered & Missing Indigenous Women & Girls Calls-To-Action.”

There is no pride in genocide.

Manitoba IRS Support Line: 1-866-818-3505

Other Indian Residential Schools resolution health support programs in Manitoba:

Aboriginal Health and Wellness (Winnipeg) 204-925-1204

Anish Corporation (Headingely) 204-334-9395

Cree Nation Tribal Council (The Pas) 204-627-1540 or 1541

Cross Lake Band – IRS Healing Program (Cross Lake) 204-676-3912

Keewatin Tribal Council (Thompson) 204-677-0384

Sagkeeng Health Centre (Pine Falls) 204-367-9990

St. Theresa Point FN Healing Centre (St. Theresa Point) 204-462-2838

Southeast Resource Development Council Corp. (Winnipeg) 204-956-7500

Wa-Say Healing Centre (Winnipeg) 204-774-6484

West region Tribal Health (Dauphin) 204-622-9400

Please note that there is an “Every Child Matters” walk on July 1 at 1 PM at Portage and Main in Winnipeg.