WHEREAS Remembering With Dignity is a coalition of disability rights and advocacy organizations founded in 1994, working to honor people who lived, died and were buried in Minnesota’s state institution cemeteries with numbered or unmarked graves;
WHEREAS the history of people with disabilities in Minnesota is largely undocumented and unknown to the average Minnesotan;
WHEREAS the materials of historical significance from Minnesota state institutions must be preserved and organized for the education of future generations;
WHEREAS the personal stories of people who have lived in Minnesota state institutions have not been told and are at risk of being lost forever as people die;
WHEREAS over 13,000 people who lived and died and were buried in Minnesota state institution cemeteries in graves that were unmarked or numbered;
WHEREAS the cemeteries at the nine Minnesota institutions have been poorly maintained or completely neglected;
WHEREAS the State of Minnesota has publicly acknowledged that certain past practices of institutionalizing people with disabilities were wrong;
and WHEREAS this acknowledgement occurred after 13 years of long, hard, consistent work by self-advocates and other disability advocates at the State Legislature.
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED
The Arc Minnesota joins and supports the efforts of Remembering With Dignity, a coalition effort to:
- Increase public awareness about the history and experiences of people who have lived and died in Minnesota’s state institutions.
- Collect oral histories and support individuals in telling their stories of living in institutions.
- Place names on the graves, now unmarked or numbered, of the remaining 5,111 people buried in Minnesota state institution cemeteries.
- Support self-advocates and consumers in their leadership roles.
- Support self-advocates and consumers in human rights activism and social justice issues with music and art exhibitions.
- Enable people with disabilities to learn skills to live in the community with self-determination.
Resolution approved by the Delegate Body at The Arc Minnesota Annual Meeting on October 28, 2007.
Revised Resolution Drafted by The Arc Minnesota Position Statements Task Force, June 18, 2013.
Revised Statement Again Edited and Then Approved by The Arc Minnesota Position Statements Task Force, June 22, 2013.
This statement was approved by The Arc Minnesota Public Policy Committee on August 21, 2013.
This statement was approved by The Arc Minnesota Board of Directors on September 23, 2013.
This statement was approved by delegates at The Arc Minnesota Annual Business Meeting, November 2, 2013.