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

Just Posted

Single vehicle rollover on Highway 16 claims life of young woman, seriously injures another

The single vehicle incident occurred at Highway 16 and Hillcrest Way

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

COVID-19 cases grow to 13 at B.C. First Nation near Fort St. James

“This is very serious,” says Nak’azdli Whut’en Chief

Directional traffic change coming to one-way street beside McLeod Elementary

This change will be in effect starting Monday, Oct. 5.

Vanderhoof’s Brian Frenkel takes on top job in tough times

We can get through this, new local government leader says

105 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death as health officials urge B.C. to remember safety protocols

There are currently 1268 active cases, with 3,337 people under public health monitoring

Permanent fish-passage solutions consdiered at Big Bar landslide

151,000 salmon detected this year north of site

B.C. VOTES 2020: Few solutions offered for ‘out of control’ camping

B.C. Liberals, NDP spend millions as problem keeps growing

National child-care plan could help Canada rebound from COVID-induced economic crisis: prof

A $2 billion investment this year could help parents during second wave of pandemic

Action demanded over death of First Nations youth in Abbotsford group home

Family and Indigenous organizations push for thorough investigation

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. nurses report rise in depression, anxiety, exhaustion due to pandemic

A new UBC study looks into how the COVID-19 response has impacted frontline nurses

Horgan frustrated as Transport Canada mandate for BC Ferry riders returns

Transport Canada reinstates rule that bans passengers from lower decks

Reincarnation, baby! Music-making B.C. couple celebrate ‘miracle’ pregnancy

‘I (said) to Adam, ‘I really think this is your brother reincarnated,’ Elise Estrada says

Most Read