Indigenous leaders call for Queen to apologise

Call for Queen to apologise

The president of the Métis National Council made a call for the Queen to apologise for the Canadian residential school crisis in order to help survivors and their families heal.

Cassidy Caron (pictured) says residential school survivors told her that an apology from the Queen would be important since she is the leader of the Anglican Church and Canada’s head of state. They also suggested the Queen should pay reparations to survivors.

The school system was created to isolate indigenous children from the influence of their own native culture and religion, to assimilate them into the dominant Canadian culture.

Caron’s call comes a month after Pope Francis apologised at the Vatican to survivors and indigenous delegates for the Catholic Church’s role in residential schools.

“There’s so much healing that is needed,” Caron said.

“We need basic human necessities in our communities and it stems from colonisation. It stems from assimilation – and some financial reparations are absolutely helpful in helping us move forward.”

Caron says she will make the request to Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, at a reception with them at Rideau Hall on Wednesday.

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall are to visit Canada this week for a three-day tour that is to focus partly on indigenous reconciliation.

Mary Simon, Canada’s first indigenous Governor General, called the visit a chance to “showcase the evolution of our country, our diverse and inclusive society, as well as the resilience of indigenous communities.”

Many First Nations signed treaties with the Crown that made promises — such as pledges to share resources — that the Crown later violated.

“The Queen is also a treaty member and she has an obligation to live up to the agreement,” said Paul Andrew, who survived the notorious residential school Grollier Hall in Inuvik, North West Territories.

“Through reconciliation, they can right the wrongs.”

The Archbishop of Canterbury recently apologised in Canada for the Anglican Church’s role in residential schools.

“I am sorry that the church belittled your spirituality, denigrated and undermined your culture and tradition, and above all your language,” Justin Welby said in Saskatoon.

After witnessing the apology, Brian Hardlotte, grand chief of the Prince Albert Grand Council, said the Queen should complete the apology for the Anglican Church.

“That’s something that I would personally, as a leader and a survivor, would like to see,” he said.

Some 150,000 indigenous children were forced to attend residential schools – of which he Anglican Church ran about three dozen.


CBC News

Everything GP


Additional reading

News category: World.

Tags: , , ,