Every day this week, we raised some of the issues facing Indigenous peoples in Saskatchewan and called on the Sask. Party to act.
Instead of committing to action and marking National Aboriginal Day with a renewed commitment to work toward reconciliation, this week, the Sask. Party:
- Failed, yet again, to make a formal apology for the Sixties Scoop and blamed others for their refusal to apologize;
- Refused to comment on why, while millions of dollars are being spent to improve safety and public transportation on British Columbia’s highway of tears, the Sask. Party is moving in the opposite direction, scrapping STC, and leaving many across our province – including many Indigenous women – with no safe transportation options;
- Ignored calls to finally make good on their two-year-old commitment to implement key Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action;
- Did nothing to help eliminate - or even call on the federal government to close - the education funding gap for on-reserve students; and
- Refused to reverse their own cuts to education for Indigenous students.
In fact, when the Sask. Party did speak about Indigenous issues, the Premier marked National Aboriginal Day by telling reporters that he’s opposed to making it a statutory holiday. He also used the occasion to announce that an Indigenous member of his caucus is leaving the Sask. Party to work in the private sector.
When it comes to their failed record on Indigenous issues, the Sask. Party’s silence is deafening and their inaction speaks volumes. It’s well past time for them to finally take concrete steps to work toward reconciliation.
A good start would be to accept responsibility for their failures, reverse their cuts to programs that help Indigenous peoples, and start making good on their promises and commitments.