Speaking of the victims of residential schools in Newfoundland & Labrador, The Prime Minister of Canada said:
“Many were sorely neglected and not properly fed, clothed, or housed. Others suffered physical, psychological, and sexual abuse. All were deprived of the love and care of their families, of their parents, and of their communities. These are the hard truths that are part of Canada’s history.“
Lest it be seen as a partisan issue, the previous Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, said in 2008:
“Two primary objectives of the residential school system were to remove and isolate children from the influence of their homes, families, traditions and cultures, and to assimilate them into the dominant culture. These objectives were based on the assumption Aboriginal cultures and spiritual beliefs were inferior and unequal. Indeed, some sought, as it was infamously said, “to kill the Indian in the child.” Today, we recognize that this policy of assimilation was wrong, has caused great harm, and has no place in our country.”
It may just be words, but it is important that these issues are acknowledged by the highest office in our country.