Manitoba increases funding for residential school survivor supports

The Manitoba government has increased funding support for residential school survivors.

Ten Indigenous residential school healing centres will see a $500,000 investment from the province to support and promote healing, advance reconciliation, and build healthier futures for Manitobans.

The investment from the province adds to a $200,000 investment last September to support programming and awareness for the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

READ MORE: Manitoba to fund residential school healing support organizations

Alan Lagimodiere, Indigenous Reconciliation and Northern Relations Minister says the new funding aligns with the Department of Indigenous Reconciliation and Northern Relations’ mandate on a path toward reconciliation.

“This investment strengthens Manitoba’s role in advancing reconciliation,” said Lagimodiere. “It expands culturally holistic healing and trauma support services while strengthening family connections around the shared experiences of Manitobans who attended Indigenous residential schools.”

The province adds the $500,000 investment will also supplement federal funding under the Indian Residential Schools Resolution Health Support Program, which provides emotional, cultural, spiritual and mental health support services to eligible former residential school students and their families.


“Manitoba is acknowledging past harms and responding to intergenerational traumas and needs of residential school survivors for support,” said Sarah Guillemard, Mental Health and Community Wellness Minister. “We will partner closely with these Indigenous-led organizations to help bring about healing through traditional Indigenous ceremonies, safe mental health approaches and holistic community-based care.”

“It’s a step for Manitoba to move forward in reconciliation,” said residential school survivor Geraldine Shingoose.

Shingoose believes this funding is positive but knows that much more is needed and sees this as an ideal time for the catholic church to step in and aid in the funding of recovery programs.

Adding half a million will be spread thin amongst all of the communities utilizing the ten healing centres.

“With Keewatin Trible Council, that’s MKO region – there are 26 communities those funds aren’t going to go too far.”

Culturally appropriate healing services will also be offered by a residential school health support worker or a cultural support worker through ten urban and rural organizations:

  • Aboriginal Health and Wellness Centre of Winnipeg, Inc.;
  • Anish Corporation (Swan Lake First Nation);
  • Cree Nation Tribal Health (The Pas);
  • Cross Lake Band – Indian Residential School Healing Program;
  • Keewatin Tribal Council (Thompson);
  • Sagkeeng Indian Residential School Wellness Centre (Pine Falls);
  • St. Theresa Point First Nation Healing Centre;
  • Southeast Resource Development Council (Winnipeg);
  • Wa-Say Healing Centre (Winnipeg); and
  • West Region Treaty 2 and 4 Health Services (Dauphin).


Shingoose says as hard as this past year has been, it’s only the beginning, as more radar searches are planned at former residential school sites in 2022.

“That’s very emotional on us as survivors, every time we hear those numbers, and we’re going to hear them more,” explained Shingoose.

Eva Wilson Fontaine of the Anish Corporation adding, “this one-time funding acknowledges the importance of supporting our survivors, their families and communities throughout the difficult process of locating unmarked graves at former Indian residential school sites in Manitoba. It also ensures that survivors won’t have to walk this journey alone.”

The province adds positive effects from visitors to the Aboriginal Health and Wellness Centre have been noticed.

“With this funding, our survivors, their families and communities are feeling supported through their healing journey, especially during these difficult times,” said Noella Gentes, director of programs, Aboriginal Health and Wellness Centre of Winnipeg, Inc. “We were able to hold a huge three-day event that hosted an average of 600 survivors and their families per day. I can’t say enough about the support provided and connections made during this event.”

-With files from Mike Albanese

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