For nearly a decade, the Sask. Party has failed to close the gap in health, education, justice and income levels for First Nations and Métis peoples. On top of that, they have refused to keep their promise to apologize for the Sixties Scoop.
Today, the Saskatchewan NDP used their time in Question Period to shine a light on these issues.
“The Sask. Party's decade in office has been accurately described as 'a period of inaction',” NDP Leader Ryan Meili said. “As a province, we simply can’t wait any longer to start making real progress in closing the gap for First Nations and Métis peoples.”
In 2015, the previous Premier promised an apology, after two years, they have yet to make good on the promise. The new Premier has also promised an apology, but has not yet delivered one.
The previous Premier also committed to closing the education funding gap between on reserve and off reserve students, but again, no action was taken. Meanwhile, the graduation rates for First Nations students have been consistently low.
The Sask. Party has instead cut programs and jobs that help First Nations people get and keep steady employment. The Sask. Party cut Aboriginal retention workers in Saskatoon schools, community-based workers at the Buffalo Narrows Correctional Centre, and Aboriginal court workers.
“First Nations and Métis people need more than broken promises and cuts to existing programs,” Meili said. “This lack of progress is unacceptable, and the First Nations and Métis people of Saskatchewan deserve much better.”