November 24, 2017 (Ottawa, ON) – National Chief Robert Bertrand of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples (CAP) applauds Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s formal apology to the Indigenous survivors of Newfoundland and Labrador residential schools.
Today’s apology extends to over 800 school survivors including those from NunatuKavut, CAP’s provincial affiliate in Labrador, whose president, Todd Russell, “acknowledges that the Prime Minister’s apology can be a step forward in reconciliation and an important part of building a true nation-to-nation relationship with Indigenous peoples. It is truly an historic day.”
This long overdue apology follows a nine-year class action lawsuit launched by former students of residential schools in Newfoundland and Labrador after they were excluded from the 2008 federal government apology and compensation. On September 28, 2016, a $50M Residential School settlement was reached.
“While this is a momentous day for those survivors, it is also a day where everyone across Canada needs to stop and remember the Indian Residential School System and the devastating effect it has had on our people and communities”, says National Chief Bertrand.
“I welcome Prime Minister Trudeau’s call for all Canadians to take part in the next chapter where Indigenous and non-Indigenous people build the future they want together. CAP will ensure that it continues to work with the Federal Government in order to advocate for off- reserve Indigenous People and be their national voice to achieve true reconciliation with Canada” concludes Chief Bertrand.
For media interviews please contact:
Brad Darch, Executive Assistant 613-324-7628
The Congress of Aboriginal Peoples is the national voice representing the interests of Métis, status and non-status Indians, and Southern Inuit Indigenous People living off-reserve.