A Statement from President Clément Chartier on the Kamloops Indian Residential School Revelation

OTTAWA, ON, May 31, 2021 /CNW/ – The Métis Nation sends it condolences to the many families who are affected…

OTTAWA, ON, May 31, 2021 /CNW/ – The Métis Nation sends it condolences to the many families who are affected by the shocking revelation of the 215 former students of the Kamloops Indian Residential School found in the unmarked graves on the school’s property. Such a tragedy should never have happened and certainly speaks to the horrors of the federal government’s past practice of attempting to assimilate the Indigenous peoples in Canada.

This is truly a shocking and horrific development coming on the heels of the current federal government’s attempts to deal with reconciliation between Indigenous peoples and Canada for the many past wrongs and harms inflicted on Indigenous peoples by the Canadian government.

Most Canadians do not know about, or do not comprehend the scale of hardship suffered by Indigenous families and children who were forced to attend residential schools, often being away from family and friends for years.

While there have been many such wrongs and harms against Indigenous peoples, including the Métis Nation, the violation of the many Indigenous children in all residential and boarding schools must be fully addressed if true, lasting and meaningful reconciliation is to take place.

We must once again remind the federal government that the legacy of Métis residential schools remains an outstanding issue which needs to be addressed by the federal government as part of its overall constitutional responsibility to deal with all Indigenous peoples.  In particular, the federal government should move expeditiously to resolve the Ile a la Crosse residential school for which it has been in talks with a committee of former students.

Once again, we call on the federal government to ensure that all Canadians are made aware of the horrors of the residential school system on Indigenous peoples and that every attempt is made to assist Indigenous peoples and communities to bring closure to these horrific events, including the need to bring closure to the remaining questions surrounding the locating of other unmarked graves.

The MNC represents the Métis Nation in Canada at the national and international levels. The Métis Nation’s homeland includes the 3 Prairie Provinces and extends into the contiguous parts of British Columbia, Ontario, the Northwest Territories and the United States. There are approximately 400,000 Métis Nation citizens in Canada, roughly a quarter of all Aboriginal peoples in the country.

SOURCE Métis National Council