Residential schools tragedy - AFNQL demands an apology from the Canadian government

    WENDAKE,QC, April 5 /CNW Telbec/ - The Assembly of First Nations of
Quebec and Labrador (AFNQL) is calling on Prime Minister Harper to offer, on
behalf of the Canadian government, a full apology to all the residential
school survivors who were left severely scarred by their experience and were
forced to abandon their language and culture.
    AFNQL Regional Chief Ghislain Picard strongly deplored the recent
announcement by Minister Jim Prentice, who indicated that the federal
government would not be making any apology for the residential schools because
their objective had simply been to provide an 'education' to Aboriginal
children. "The federal government's position is completely irresponsible and
unacceptable. Entire lives have been shattered and destroyed because of this
tragic episode in Canada's history. We demand that the government accept its
responsibilities to allow all those who suffered so much to finally begin a
true healing and reconciliation process," said Mr. Picard.
    Mr. Picard noted that the federal government had made Aboriginal children
attend the residential schools as part of its attempt to assimilate the First
Nations. "I believe we have been patient enough regarding this issue and the
time has come for the federal government to act in the best interests of
everyone who has been harmed," he said.

    The Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador is the regional
organization representing the Chiefs of the First Nations in Quebec and

For further information:

For further information: Alain Garon, Communications Officer,  (418)
842-5020, Cell-phone: (418) 956-5720

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