Mr. Speaker, last September I was invited by Tseshaht First Nation to witness a solemn ceremony on the site of the former Alberni Indian Residential School. More than 450 people from 88 first nations gathered to reclaim the lost souls of the many indigenous children who died while attending this school over the 92 years it was open.
The ceremony was a first step in creating a cultural way for the spirits of these children to be reclaimed. Many of the participants at the reclaiming lost souls ceremony were returning to the site of the school for the first time since it closed in 1973.
As a witness, I bring this message from those who are doing this important work. There is still much intergenerational healing needed from the trauma experienced by many generations of children attending residential schools. The federal government needs to invest more funding and resources into tearing down these schools and supporting healing initiatives across Canada.