'Reconciliation impossible until someone acknowledges responsibility for Métis Survivors' says MNC President Chartier
OTTAWA, June 17 /CNW Telbec/ - Métis National Council (MNC) President Clément Chartier is congratulating the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) on its first national event being held this week in Winnipeg, MB, but says reconciliation is impossible until someone acknowledges responsibility for Métis survivors' residential school experience.
"This national event marks an important step forward on the TRC mandate for fostering healing and reconciliation," said President Chartier. "Before Métis can take part, however, the truth about the thousands of Métis survivors who have been excluded from the settlement agreement and denied any compensation must first be uncovered."
A relatively small number of Métis survivors attended Federal Indian Residential Schools and are eligible for compensation under the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement. The vast majority, several thousand, went to schools not covered by the settlement. Neither the Federal nor any Provincial governments have taken responsibility for compensating Métis survivors of these schools.
"Métis survivors endured the same forced separation from family, the same alienation from the land and their communities, the same attacks on their culture and way of life, and in many instances were victims of the same physical, sexual and psychological abuse," said Chartier. "Reconciliation with Canada will be impossible until someone takes responsibility for what was done to Métis in these schools."
The MNC Board of Governors has not decided to what extent, if any, it will be participating in the TRC. Without assurances the issues of Métis survivors, including responsibility and compensation, will be respectfully addressed, MNC President Chartier will not be participating in TRC events.
"Until the exclusion of Métis survivors from compensation is resolved, until responsibility is taken for the harm done to Métis survivors and Métis communities, healing between Canada and the Métis Nation will remain unattainable," said Chartier. "I cannot, on behalf of the Métis Nation, offer any statements of reconciliation until our survivors are properly acknowledged."
President Chartier is calling on the Federal government to open compensation to all Métis survivors.
SOURCE Métis National Council
For further information: For further information: Greg Taylor, MNC Communications, at (613) 296-9263 or firstname.lastname@example.org