NEWS RELEASE · 2nd June 2015
OTTAWA – Skeena—Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen says it is the responsibility of all Canadians to learn from the findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, released today in Ottawa, and move forward together.
Justice Murray Sinclair, Canada's first Aboriginal justice and the commission's chairman, today called the residential school system “one of the darkest most troubling chapters in our collective history,” wherein neglect was “institutionalized” and students were often victims of sexual and physical abuse.
“It’s the duty of all Canadians to learn more about this sombre chapter in our history, and take heed of the lessons as we move forward. Parliamentarians, in particular, have the responsibility to act, and New Democrats are determined to act upon the report of the Commission. We will consult and work in partnership with Indigenous people to establish which of the recommendations to tackle first.”
Cullen noted that he was in the House of Commons on June 10, 2008 to bear witness to Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s formal apology to Aboriginal Canadians, on behalf of Skeena—Bulkley Valley constituents, over one-third of whom are Aboriginal.
“Canada must show leadership and honour that apology,” said Cullen. “We do that by reflecting on these testimonies. We do that by remembering the children who never made it home. And we do that by standing nation-to-nation with Indigenous peoples across this country to repair our relationship and work towards true healing and reconciliation.”