On National Indigenous Peoples Day, NDP Leader Ryan Meili and Betty Nippi-Albright, Critic for First Nations and Métis Relations & Truth and Reconciliation, issued the following statement:
“This year more than ever, there is an urgency to address the history of the residential school system. The discovery of the bodies of 215 children at a former residential school in British Columbia, and the knowledge that there are many more undiscovered right here in Saskatchewan, means we must turn our grief into action.
While we wish to celebrate, it is difficult with so many people and communities being re-traumatized. Our province has seen first-hand the legacy of the residential schools: increased health problems, higher levels of poverty, over-representation of Indigenous children in foster care and unacceptably high incarceration rates for Indigenous people. Taking the time to recognize this dark period of our history is a key step to remembering our past, fixing the problems that exist today and ensuring a better future for everyone.
We must stand together to eliminate racism and to close the gaps in health, employment, justice and education between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.”