REGINA - NDP Leader Ryan Meili and Betty Nippi-Albright, Critic for Truth and Reconciliation & First Nations and Métis Relations, called on Premier Scott Moe to apologize and take ownership - on behalf of Saskatchewan - for the damage caused to First Nations and Métis people at the Île-à-la-Crosse and Timber Bay residential schools.
“It is long past time that both orders of government fully take responsibility for their respective roles in the abuse, neglect, loss of language and culture, and violence that many First Nations and Métis people were subjected to in these institutions,” said Nippi Albright. “The legacy of the residential schools lives with us to this day. Only by acknowledging and confronting the wrong that was done to Indigenous people and communities can we work to real truth and reconciliation.”
The Île-à-la-Crosse and Timber Bay residential schools were not included in the federal Indian Residential School Settlement process established as part of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. These institutions were run by religious organizations and funded by both the Government of Canada and the Government of Saskatchewan.
New Democrats called on Premier Moe to take specific steps in redress of these historic wrongs:
- Make an official apology in the Legislature on behalf of the Government of Saskatchewan for the trauma caused at the Île-à-la-Crosse and Timber Bay residential schools.
- With regards to the Timber Bay residential school, put pressure on the Government of Canada to ensure that it is included in the Indian Residential School Settlement process in order to allow for compensation for survivors and their families.
- Work with survivors’ groups from both residential schools to determine appropriate compensation to the survivors and their families by the Government of Saskatchewan.
“The operation of these two residential schools in Saskatchewan was a dark chapter in the history of our province that occurred under the watch of successive governments of all political stripes,” said Meili. “We cannot change the past, but as leaders, we are responsible for acknowledging our history, admitting fault, accepting responsibility, and moving forward together in the spirit of Truth and Reconciliation.”
Please see the attached letter from NDP Leader Ryan Meili to Premier Scott Moe.