OTTAWA, June 10, 2014 /CNW/ - Tomorrow will mark six years since
Parliament offered an apology to former students of Indian residential
schools and their families, and the Assembly of First Nations (AFN)
National Executive Committee is urging the Government of Canada to
fulfil the spirit of the apology and work with First Nations toward
real reconciliation that respects the Treaties and First Nation
jurisdiction, title and rights.
"Six years ago on June 11, Prime Minister Stephen Harper rose in the
House of Commons and stated that the attitudes and objectives behind
residential schools were wrong and will never prevail in Canada again.
And yet these same attitudes and approaches that created the
residential schools and sustained them for over 100 years continue to
hold back First Nations and all of Canada from achieving real change,"
said AFN spokesperson and Quebec/Labrador Regional Chief Ghislain
Picard. "Now more than ever we must see the Government of Canada bring
life to the words of the apology and work with First Nations in the
spirit of true reconciliation to address the many challenges before us.
Reconciliation requires respecting and implementing First Nation and
Aboriginal rights and title, the Treaties and jurisdiction in ways that
will drive real change for First Nations peoples and communities."
The historic apology offered to residential school survivors took place
in the House of Commons June 11, 2008. It included a commitment by
Parliament and all of Canada to join First Nations on a shared journey
toward healing and reconciliation as set out in the 2007 Indian
Residential School Settlement Agreement (IRSSA).
"We honour all former students of residential schools and their
families, and continue to advocate to ensure they have the support they
require for individual and collective healing," said AFN Regional Chief
Bill Erasmus who leads the national advocacy work in this area. "As
set out in the Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement, the
apology was ordered by the court and we continue to press the
Government of Canada to uphold its full responsibility as set out in
the agreement, including full disclosure of documents so that the
proper truth-telling can take place. We strongly encourage First
Nations and all Canadians to come together to educate each other about
the significance of the Settlement Agreement and all its facets."
The Government of Canada is currently taking applications for the final
phase of compensation as outlined in IRSSA. Personal credits for
education programming are being offered to recipients of Common
Experience Payments for a one-time credit of $3000 (no cash value).
For more information on the Apology, the Indian Residential School
Settlement Agreement and personal credits for education watch "Moment of Reckoning - Turning the Page on a Dark Chapter of Our Shared
History" - a short film documentary speaking to the significance these and other
events in achieving reconciliation http://youtu.be/FlEhRy_m1kU.
The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing
First Nations citizens in Canada. Follow AFN on Twitter @AFN_Comms,
SOURCE: Assembly of First Nations
For further information:
Jenna Young AFN Communications Officer 613-241-6789, ext 401; 613-314-8157 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Alain Garon AFN Bilingual Communications Officer 613-241-6789, ext 382; 613-292-0857 or email@example.com