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

Fundraiser being held for family of Mark Olson

Olson died suddenly on March 29

Cowichan Mountie cleared of wrongdoing after woman’s arm broken during arrest

Police were called around 10 p.m. on Dec. 30, 2019 to remove a “severely intoxicated” woman

CVRD calls for continued COVID-19 vigilance, asks visitors not to come to Valley

With warmer weather, Easter holidays, district fears residents may become lax

Weather forecast for the Cowichan Valley sunny and mid-teens

Lots of sun expected over next two weeks

UPDATE: Canadians awake to extra COVID-19 emergency benefit money, feds clarify changes

The CRA and federal officials are working to clarify the confusion around payments

List of cancelled Cowichan Valley community events

An ongoing list of events that have been cancelled in the Cowichan Valley due to COVID-19

B.C. sorting medical equipment sales, donation offers for COVID-19

Supply hub has call out for masks, gowns, coronavirus swabs

B.C. records five more deaths due to COVID-19, 45 new cases

A total of 838 people have recovered from the virus

Major crimes investigating sudden death of North Okanagan child

The 8 year old was flown to Kelowna General Hospital and died hours later

Easter Bunny added to B.C.’s list of essential workers

Premier John Horgan authorizes bunny to spread “eggs-ellent cheer” throughout province

Travellers returning to B.C. must have self-isolation plan or face quarantine: Horgan

Premier John Horgan says forms must be filled out by travellers

More than 400 animals have been adopted amid pandemic: B.C. SPCA

People are taking this time of social distancing to find a loyal companion through the animal welfare group

VIDEO: More than 85 people displaced by Campbell River apartment fire

Traffic is being diverted around Dogwood Street and 9th Avenue

Most Read