Media Releases, Treaty One Nation

Treaty One Nations Provide Unanimous Support for NDP Motion

The Treaty One Nation Backs MP Leah Gazan’s Motion to Recognize Indian Residential Schools as Genocide  

Treaty No. 1 Territory, Winnipeg MB – The Treaty One Nation is providing unanimous support for MP Leah Gazan’s Motion for the federal government to recognize Indian Residential Schools (IRS) as genocide.  

The United Nations defines genocide as any act committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial, or religious group. 

The seven Nations of Treaty No. 1 have voted to provide backing for Gazan’s motion, and offered the following statement: 

“The recent discovery of the remains of 215 children at the Kamloops Residential School is a sad reminder of the horror that Indigenous children experienced at IRS, Day Schools, and through the Sixties Scoop.  There is no other way to describe the deliberate and calculated abuse and murder of our children at the hands of priests and nuns except as genocide.  We know that this is just the tip of the iceberg – there are many more school grounds that need to be searched and all of those children need to go home to their families and communities,” said Spokesperson Chief Dennis Meeches. 

The 2015 Truth and Reconciliation report states that an estimated 3200 children died at residential schools; however, survivors and family say that number is much higher.  The schools’ practice was not to send the children’s bodies to their family and home communities, but to bury them in unmarked graves on school grounds.  Additionally, nearby cemeteries are often abandoned, unused, or disturbed by accident. 

“If we are to ever heal as a nation, the government must acknowledge the truth and call this what it is.  We also call on the federal and provincial governments to provide funding to search the schools and bring our children home.  We thank MP Leah Gazan for her work to honour our relatives who died at residential schools, and we send our love to all survivors across Canada,” Chief Meeches added. 


For further information or to arrange an interview with Chief Meeches, please contact Blair Strong, Communications Coordinator at Treaty One Nation. Email: