CNUFN to Join Lion’s Head in Walk for Residential School Victims

CNUFN and Lion’s Head community members are holding a walk in Lion’s Head, on July 3rd, called “Can You Hear Me? Together A Walk Of Healing”. Scheduled to start at 7:00 PM, the walk is in honour of all children who attended residential schools, especially the 215 Indigenous children found in unmarked graves near the Kamloops Indian Residential School in British Columbia, those in more than 750 unmarked graves near Marieval Indian Residential School in Saskatchewan, and those yet to be found. The Lion’s Head community typically hosts a parade on Canada Day, but in light of the terrible revelations, the organizers instead decided to collaborate with CNUFN on the memorial walk.

The walk will end at the Lion’s Head Beach pavilion with a safe, physically distanced gathering on the grass. Following the walk there will be a time of reflection. Participants are welcomed to bring chairs or blankets to hear from residential school survivors and their families, about their experiences and their ongoing struggles. Chief Greg Nadjiwon will also be in attendance and is expected to give his remarks.

The walk will start at the Bruce Peninsula District School (BPDS) at 5 Moore Street, proceed north on Main St, turn east on Webster St, and end at the Lion’s Head Beach pavilion. The route will be hung with tee-shirt cutouts that walkers and spectators can write on to leave messages of condolence and support.

Walkers and spectators are encouraged to wear orange for the event, the colour associated with residential school awareness and support for survivors. Organizers have ordered 300 orange T-shirts in women, men and youth sizes. You may get one the day of the walk, starting at 6:00 PM. Cost is by donation with proceeds going to children’s services in Neyaashiinigmiing.

To participate in the walk, meet at the Lion’s Head school on Moore Street, on July 3, before the start. (Arrive a littler earlier to buy a shirt.) The walk will begin promptly at 7:00 PM. Spectators are invited to line the route to show their support.

For those who are joining the walk please note the following:

  • A mask must be worn and physical distancing requirements must be followed. This is very important!!
  • The organizers are taking every precaution to keep all participants safe, but do ask that you provide your information for contact tracing, in the unlikely event of a COVID-19 outbreak. Feel free to preregister if you’re confident you will be attending.
  • Lion’s Head Transit has generously donated their bus for those who feel they can’t do any or all of the walk but still want to participate.

Register for the event online.

For more information, contact Marydale Ashcroft at 519-374-4468.

Chief Nadjiwon Calls for Renewed Vigilance to Pandemic Safety Protocols

This is a difficult time for the Saugeen Ojibway Nation. Even as the pandemic is seemingly receding, our communities are being challenged with COVID-19 cases that we have been able to avoid until now. We have an active case in CNUFN and in a video statement to the membership, Chief Lester Anoquot shared that SFN has also identified 13 active cases in the community. The SFN Council has decided to lock down their community to keep residents safe until the outbreak is under control.

In this delicate period, Chief Greg Nadjiwon asks that all community members remain vigilant and strictly adhere to pandemic safety protocols. Wear a facemask outside your home; wash your hands frequently; and keep your physical distance from people you don’t live with. Chief  Nadjiwon asks that all community members avoid gathering unless absolutely necessary. Plans for Canada Day gatherings should be put on hold, especially those involving Saugeen First Nation at this time. We do not want to jeopardize our sister community by encouraging gatherings with SFN residents while they are in lockdown.

We know this is unwelcome news, but we need your help to keep our communities safe. If you haven’t been vaccinated against COVID-19 yet, please schedule your vaccination now. It is simply the best way to protect all our relations. Our next vaccination clinic will be Saturday, July 17.

Chief Greg Nadjiwon is dismayed, as are we all, by the recent rise in COVID-19 cases in SFN. Our hearts go out to the Saugeen First Nation, and to our own members that have been impacted. Our sincere hope is that the outbreaks in our communities are quickly and safely contained. Thank you for your constant strength and patience.


More Unmarked Graves Revealed as Government Responds to Chief Nadjiwon’s Letter

We are once again saddened and appalled by the discovery of hundreds of unmarked graves in the vicinity of a residential school. The pain and shock of the crime revealed at the Kamloops Indian Residential School has not even begun to fade, and we are faced with the staggering discovery of at least 751 unmarked graves at a cemetery near the former Marieval Indian Residential School in Saskatchewan. Many of the graves may contain adults or even local community members, but it is also likely that a great number hold our Indigenous children, sent to anonymous places of rest by an indifferent system.

When the Kamloops Indian Residential School crime was exposed, Chief Greg Nadjiwon immediately wrote to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Minister of Crown Indigenous Relations Bennett, and Minister of Indigenous Services Miller, demanding immediate concrete action. The Chief spoke for all of us when he called for all Indigenous children anonymously buried at residential schools to be found and returned home, and for all deaths of Indigenous children at residential schools to be fully and transparently investigated. Read the Chief’s full letter.

We have received responses from the federal government that the Chief would like to share with the community.

We received a perfunctory letter from Lana Thomas, the Corporate Secretary of Minister Miller, which you can read here. Indigenous Services Canada declined to comment except to suggest that the matter was Minister’s Bennett’s responsibility.

Martin Reiher, Assistant Deputy Minister, Resolution & Partnerships, with the Ministry of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs, sent the following response for Minister Bennett:

From: “Reiher, Martin (AADNC/AANDC)” <>
Subject: Calls to Action 74-76
Date: June 18, 2021 at 7:14:36 AM EDT
Cc:” <>, “Baak2, Jayne (AADNC/AANDC)” <>, “Turcotte, Karen (AADNC/AANDC)” <>
Chief Nadjiwon, 
I am outreaching to you on behalf of Minister Bennett as an initial response to your letter to the Prime Minister, Minister Miller and Minister Bennett demanding action on Calls to Action 74 to 76. Minister Bennett wanted that I outreach to you as soon as possible.
The sad news of the remains being found in the area of Kamloops on May 27, 2021 has cast light on the dark legacy of Indian Residential Schools. We very much appreciate you taking the time to write and express your views.  We know that Survivors, their families and communities are seeking action be taken by the Government while at the same time respecting the pace at which communities wish to move forward.
On June 2, 2021, Minister Bennett announced that funding is available for our Indigenous partners to support locating, commemorating and memorializing those children who never returned home from residential schools.  Information on the available funding may be found through the links below. We would be happy to meet to provide information to you regarding this funding and engage in a dialogue to determine how we can support your community in this important but difficult undertaking.
We know that many communities are in mourning and we respect that you may not wish to meet with us at this time. If at any time in the future you do wish to have a call, please let me know and I will ask my office to work with yours to arrange a call at a date and time that is convenient for you.
Martin Reiher
Sous-ministre adjoint, Résolution & Partenariats / Assistant Deputy Minister, Resolution & Partnerships
Relations Couronne-Autochtones et Affaires du Nord / Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs
Residential schools missing children – community support funding

Jean-Luc Marion, Senior Manager – Prime Minister’s Correspondence, sent the following email from the Prime Minister’s office:

From: Prime Minister | Premier Ministre <>
Subject: Office of the Prime Minister / Cabinet du Premier ministre
Date: June 14, 2021 at 11:13:42 AM EDT
Dear Chief Nadjiwon:

On behalf of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, I would like to acknowledge receipt of your correspondence regarding the discovery of the remains of 215 children found buried at a former British Columbia residential school.

Our government is profoundly saddened by this tragic news and our thoughts are with Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation, as well as with all Indigenous communities across Canada. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) brought to light the truth about Canadian history and what took place at residential schools. The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation was established and is now responsible for the Student Death Registries. Since Budget 2019, we have been engaging with Indigenous communities impacted by residential schools on how best to proceed with implementing Calls to Action 72 to 76.

The loss of children who attended Indian Residential Schools is unthinkable and Canada remains resolved to supporting families, Survivors and communities and to memorializing those lost innocent souls. Our government is committed to continuing our engagement with communities on the development of culturally appropriate approaches to identifying the deceased children, locating burial sites and commemorating or memorializing those who died or went missing while attending residential schools. We have heard and are ensuring that the approaches taken moving forward are Indigenous-led, community-based, Survivor-centric and culturally sensitive.

Thank you once again for sharing your concerns and for writing to the Prime Minister.

Please accept my warmest regards.


Jean-Luc Marion
Senior Manager – Prime Minister’s Correspondence

A copy of the Chief’s letter was also forwarded to Grey-Bruce-Owen Sound Member of Parliament Alex Ruff. MP Ruff, offered a lengthy response, including the position that the Conservative Party has taken in the House of Commons. You can read MP Ruff’s response here.

Video: Chief Greg Nadjiwon Addresses the Community

The Chief has prepared a video statement for members as we respond to a COVID-19 case in Neyaashiinigmiing.

While the Health Centre and Grey Bruce Public Health manage the small outbreak, there is no immediate cause for alarm. The community remains safe. Residents are reminded to follow all pandemic protocols as rigorously as always.

Everybody is also asked to receive a COVID-19 vaccination as soon as possible, as the surest and easiest way to protect our families, relations, friends and neighbours.

English subtitles are available on this video. Enable closed captions or subtitles on your device.

SON Chiefs Participate in Owen Sound Bridge Dedication Ceremony

Chief Greg Nadjiwon of the Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation and Chief Lester Anoquot of the Chippewas of Saugeen First Nation spoke at the dedication ceremony for the new 10th Street bridge in Owen Sound on July 21, 2021.

The event, held on Indigenous Solidarity Day, saw the bridge officially dedicated as Giche-name-wiikwedong Bridge. The name, which means Great Sturgeon Bay in Aniishnabemowin, was proposed by CNUFN member Susan Staves Shank.

Chief Nadjiwon spoke strongly for the need to include the history of Indigenous people in the classrooms of the nation, while Chief Anoquot stressed the importance of all Canadians working together to resolve the many issues faced by Indigenous people.

The ceremony was covered live by Rogers TV. You can view the recording of the ceremony on the Rogers TV website.

A Birthday Celebration for Chief Nadjiwon

Chief Greg Nadjiwon is celebrating another well-deserved birthday, and you’re all invited!

On Monday, June 14 we will be honouring the Chief’s special day with a come-and-go party at the Band Office.

Between 10:45 AM and 2:00 PM, weather permitting, we will have a pavilion erected in the parking lot of the Band Office. All are welcome to drop in, enjoy cake and drinks, and wish the Chief the best on his birthday.

Of course, COVID-19 protocols will be in effect. Guests are asked to stay 2 meters apart, wear a mask (while you’re not stuffing cake in!), and use hand sanitizer. There won’t be any lingering at this year’s party, but we’d love to see you, if only for a little while!

Happy Birthday Chief Nadjiwon!

Chief Greg Nadjiwon Demands Action From Prime Minister Trudeau

Warning: Some details of the post to follow may be disturbing to some readers. If you need support, the Nawash Wellness Centre is here to help. Call 519-534-0373.

The discovery of the bodies of children on the site of the Kamloops Indian Residential School has been a blow to Indigenous people across the country and around the world. While we have long known that the full, awful story of the residential schools hadn’t yet been told, we were still stunned by the revelation. The crime has been revealed, and now justice must follow.

Chief Greg Nadjiwon has written a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations Carolyn Bennett, and Minister of Indigenous Services Marc Miller, demanding immediate and measurable action to bring peace to the families and accountability to the perpetrators. We will not let this be ignored by Canada or the world.

Read the Chief’s letter.