UNANIMOUS HOUSE OF COMMONS CALLS FOR OFFICIAL APOLOGY TO FORMER INDIGENOUS STUDENTS OF RESIDENTIAL SCHOOLS
Survivors speaking about their suffering in Canada’s residential schools and pressing for reparations caused churches to apologize for the systematic sexual, physical, emotional and psychological abuse inflicted under their watch. In 1998, the Liberal government made a Statement of Reconciliation recognizing the abuse and established the Aboriginal Healing Foundation. Continued pressure from Aboriginal communities led to the 2005 Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement (IRSSA) by the Liberal government, ratified in 2006 by a new Conservative government. Activists continued to call for a formal government apology, but the Conservative government initially held that an apology was not part of the agreement. In reaction, Liberal MP Gary Merasty introduced a motion calling for an official apology. It passed unanimously. On June 11, 2008, Prime Minister Stephen Harper offered that apology on behalf of the Government of Canada.
Source: Zach Parrott, “Government Apology to Former Students of Indian Residential Schools,” The Canadian Encyclopedia, 7/14/2014. Retrieved 2/28/2020, https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/government-apology-to-former-students-of-indian-residential-schools Photo: Author unknown, circa 1885. Public Domain.