We grieve as the horrifying news sinks in: the remains of 215 children found at what was once Canada’s largest residential school. These facts are a very painful reminder of the ignominious history of residential schools and the deep wounds this brutal past has inflicted upon Indigenous communities. These are 215 children who would have been elders today, 215 families that were left to mourn alone all these years; 215 families that were failed by our society.

Unfortunately, this is not an isolated event. Much evidence has come to light in recent years about the devastating impact of the residential schools. Uncovering this shameful part of our history and its present-day ramifications can no longer be ignored. 

The news is yet another painful reminder of the urgent need to address the historic wrongdoings of our society and the need to address the systemic racism that continues to shape the everyday lives of Indigenous communities.

We at Toronto Arts Council and Toronto Arts Foundation are committed to dismantling these structures of systemic racism that continue to exist. We will continue working with our artists, arts workers, partners and sponsors, through our grant programs, awards, and other resources to bring down these oppressive structures by continuing to amplify Indigenous artists and lend our voices as advocates in solidarity with the Indigenous community.

I look forward to playing our role for truth and reconciliation in Canada.

Claire Hopkinson
Director & CEO
Toronto Arts Council
Toronto Arts Foundation