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Long-time advocate for Residential School Survivors – Michael Cachagee – to be Remembered at Woodland Cultural Centre in Brantford during National Day of
Truth and Reconciliation

(Sault Ste Marie – September 26, 2023) Michael Cachagee, who passed away on July
15, 2023, at the age of 83, will be remembered for his decades of advocacy on behalf of
fellow Residential School Survivors during a ceremony at the site of the former Mohawk
Institute Residential School in Brantford this Saturday, September 30th at 10 a.m.
Cachagee founded the Children of Shingwauk in 1981, which was one of the first
reunions of Residential School Survivors in Canada.

Cachagee was in residential schools from the age of three until the age of 16, attending
St. John’s Indian Residential School in Chapleau, the Bishop Horden Indian Residential
School in Moose Factory, and the Shingwauk Indian Residential School in Sault Ste.
Marie. He experienced physical, emotional, and sexual abuse and was forced to dig
graves for classmates who died either from malnutrition, disease, or because of
physical abuse.

During his time as Chief of the Chapleau Cree First Nation, Cachagee was one of the
first leaders to secure funding from the Aboriginal Healing Foundation in 1999 to
develop and implement healing circles for survivors and their families. He went on to
found the National Residential School Survivor Society and the Ontario Indian
Residential School Support Services which became Weecheetowin Support Services.
Cachagee long held a vision to build a healing facility for survivors and their families. It
will be the first of its kind in Canada. After several years of consultation and negotiation,
Crown land was purchased from the Ontario government in March 2023 at the former
site of a Junior Rangers Camp on Little Lake Wenebegon, an hour’s drive south of
Chapleau. Mishkiki Chichakk Kamik (Medicine Spirit Lodge) will fulfill that vision once it
is built in the coming years.

At the June 13-15, 2023, All Ontario Chiefs Conference, a unanimous resolution was
passed in support of the lodge and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to
Action #21 which calls upon the federal government to provide funding for healing
facilities. “In 2020, Michael began to take his vision from concept to creation,” said
Nipissing First Nation Chief Scott McLeod, who introduced the motion. “There has been
considerable time, effort, and personal finance invested into making this a reality … we
are now looking for a funding commitment in the 2024 federal budget.”
Since passage of the resolution, Indigenous Services Canada and the Prime Minister’s
Office have been provided with details on the healing lodge. On the first National Day of
Truth and Reconciliation in 2021, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called Michael
Cachagee to express his thanks for all the work he has done for survivors.

For more information on the life and long list of accomplishments by Michael Cachagee,
please visit:
For more information on the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation events in Brantford, as
well as more details on Mishkiki Chichakk Kamik, please contact Bryan Hendry at or 613-863-1764

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