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

In photos: Penticton Speedway celebrates opening weekend

Despite having to turn away roughly 700 cars, organizers celebrating a successful weekend of racing

RCMP investigate bear spray assault outside Penticton pub

Two patrons assaulted with bear spray outside Nanaimo Avenue pub

Coalmont woman airlifted after ATV crash

Off-road vehicle swerved to miss oncoming traffic

Summerland campground to provide COVID-safe accommodations for temporary farm-workers

The managed seasonal worker campsite will be located within a separated area of Peach Orchard Municipal Campground

QUIZ: A celebration of dogs

These are the dog days of summer. How much do you know about dogs?

Lower Mainland woman says llama farming neighbour shot her 11-month-old pup

Young dog was on owner’s Maple Ridge property when it was killed on June 21

B.C. records 31 new cases, six deaths over three days due to COVID-19

There are 166 active cases in B.C., 16 people in hospital

Police issue warning after baby comes across suspected drugs in Kamloops park

The 11-month-old girl’s mother posted photos on social media showing a small plastic bag containing a purple substance

B.C. highway widening job reduced, costs still up $61 million

Union-only project scales back work to widen Trans-Canada

Kamloops man pleads guilty in vehicle-ramming incident that injured a Mountie

Adam Hibbert was arrested following a collision during a police pursuit on May 26, 2019

Greater Victoria nanny pleads guilty to child porn, sexual interference charges

Johnathon Lee Robichaud pleaded guilty to slew of sex crimes

Most Read