Trudeau apologizes to excluded residential school students

PM makes statement to former students in Nfld who were left out of previous compensation, apology

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks to a crowd of supporters in Clarenville, N.L. on Thursday. (Darren Calabrese/The Canadian Press)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has “humbly” apologized for abuse and cultural losses at residential schools in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Speaking at a ceremony with former students in Goose Bay, Trudeau apologized on behalf of the government of Canada and all Canadians to former students at five schools in the province.

He says their parents were told their children would be cared for and would be safe.

Trudeau says we now know they were victims of a system of “colonial thinking” that caused “deep harm.”

He says for too long Canada has let the students carry their burden alone and the absence of an apology has been an impediment to healing and reconciliation.

The former students at five schools in the province were left out of a compensation package and national apology in 2008 by former prime minister Stephen Harper.

His Conservative government argued that Ottawa didn’t oversee those schools, but the Liberal government offered last year to settle a class-action lawsuit for $50 million.

However, Innu leaders are boycotting today’s event and won’t accept the apology, saying Innu children suffered in other places besides residential schools.

The leaders have issued a statement saying they met with members of their community on Thursday and received a clear message.

“The response from members of our community has been quite emotional, it is clear that Innu need apologies for more than the experience in the International Grenfell Association run residential school dormitories,” Grand Chief Gregory Rich said in the statement.

“I’m not satisfied that Canada understands yet what it has done to Innu and what it is still doing.”

The statement says Innu children were abused in Roman Catholic schools and in the homes of teachers and missionaries in the communities of Sheshatshiu and Davis Inlet. It said governments haven’t recognized that.

“The truth of what happened to the past generations of Innu has never been fully documented and we can’t deal with this in bits and pieces,” said Chief Eugene Hart of the Sheshatshiu Innu First Nation.

The Canadian Press

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Oak Bay officer injured while breaking up party

Party-goers yell ‘f*** the blue,’ say police

Victoria police looking for information after man assaulted with weapon

VicPD called to Centennial Square after man found with potentially life-threatening injuries

Saanich parking ticket payments currently ‘voluntary,’ staff look at new enforcement process

Current system a waste of resources, missed revenue opportunity, councillor says

UVic research team creating virus-resistant washbasins for post-pandemic world

Civil engineer Rishi Gupta hopes basins will be installed in public spaces

Renowned Greater Victoria hockey player back to help with female youth teams

Micah Zandee-Hart has played for the senior national team since 2016

B.C. accommodators need phone lines to light up as in-province travel given green light

Travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic have decimated the tourism and hospitality industries

B.C. extends income assistance exemption for COVID-19

Provincial program to match Ottawa’s CERB, student pay

Indigenous B.C. tour operator keeps culture alive through virtual journeys in COVID-19 era

Campbell River based Homalco Tours is also setting up live cameras for bear viewing in Orford

Broadway veteran Nick Cordero dies from coronavirus complications

During Cordero’s hospitalization, Kloots sent him daily videos of her and their 1-year-old son, Elvis,

Northern communities welcome tourists as province opens to in-B.C. travellers

Officials have asked British Columbians to be careful as they travel this summer

300 Cache Creek residents on evacuation alert due to flood risk as river rises

Heavy rainfall on Canada Day has river rising steadily, threatening 175 properties

First glimpse of Canada’s true COVID-19 infection rate expected mid-July

At least 105,000 Canadians have tested positive for COVID-19 since the coronavirus was identified

Most Read