NDP: Saskatchewan Must Move Forward on Calls to Action from Truth and Reconciliation Commission as National Indigenous History Month Begins

REGINA - On the first day of National Indigenous History Month, NDP Leader Ryan Meili and Betty Nippi-Albright, Critic for Truth and Reconciliation & First Nations and Métis Relations, called on the Sask. Party government to act quickly on the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

“June is National Indigenous History Month in Canada. It is a celebration of First Nations, Inuit and Métis culture, history and achievements,” said Meili. “This year, as we mourn the discovery of the bodies of 215 children at a former residential school in British Columbia, we stand in solidarity with Indigenous peoples and commit to turn our grief into action.”

Meili welcomed the Sask. Party government’s partnership with FSIN to advance the ground radar search of former residential school sites in Saskatchewan and called on the government to provide sustainable financial resources for this to be done. He also noted that Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action were issued in December 2015. To date, the Sask. Party government can only say that it is acting on 28 of the 34 recommendations issued to the province, with few tangible results for Indigenous peoples.

“The Sask. Party government must present a funded plan to implement all the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission,” said Nippi-Albright. “We must never forget the legacy of the residential schools. And in remembering, we must move forward in a spirit of truth and reconciliation to eliminate racism, honour Indigenous people and communities and build a better province and a better country for all of us.”

Meili and Nippi-Albright also stressed the importance of closing the gap in health, employment, justice and education between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, as well as reforming the child welfare system by increasing community autonomy over child intervention on reserve so that we learn the lessons of history and do not repeat them.

Meili, Nippi-Albright and other NDP MLAs will be attending events to mark the discovery of the mass grave outside Kamloops throughout the day, including at the Saskatchewan Legislature this afternoon beginning at noon.

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