Fifth Anniversary of Residential School Apology
OTTAWA – Editorial – Today, we gather to acknowledge the First Nations children, their families, their communities, their nations and all those who suffered the devastating impacts of the residential schools. We acknowledge today, as well, those who were the unwilling and unknowing subjects of horrendous biomedical experiments that took place in those schools. To those who did not survive the schools, we mourn your memory and your sacrifice and join your families in prayer.
[sws_pullquote_left]Know that we will support you on your journey to healing. Know that we will ensure everyone in this land confronts the reality of our shared history so that we may move forward, together. And know that we will never allow this to happen again. [/sws_pullquote_left] Today, we raise our voices and call for the Government of Canada to fully honour its apology to the survivors of the residential schools, to release all documents related to this sad chapter in our shared history and to give life to the words that were spoken by the Prime Minister on that important day.
To the survivors – the Mothers and Fathers, Aunties and Uncles, Sisters and Brothers, Grandmothers and Grandfathers, Friends and Family, those who are still with us and those who have left the circle of Creation – we offer our highest blessing, our highest honour and our utmost gratitude. We are here as First Nations only because you endured, because you ensured that your stories and your truth would not die away or fade. Your legacy is a testament to the resilience of our cultures and to your own personal strength. We wish you love and peace, wherever you may be.
As National Chief, on behalf of the full Assembly of First Nations and our Elders, Youth and Women’s Councils, I want to thank the people from all walks of life, from all faiths and from all cultures that are taking part today in commemorations across the country. This is how we as individual citizens of nations can begin together our long walk to reconciliation and healing. To those who gave their time to organize these commemorations, we thank you for bringing us together under the banner of justice, respect, truth and reconciliation.
Our first and last words today go to all those who were taken from their families and forced into the residential schools. Know that we will support you on your journey to healing. Know that we will ensure everyone in this land confronts the reality of our shared history so that we may move forward, together. And know that we will never allow this to happen again.
National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo