Justin Trudeau has apologized for the abuse and ‘profound cultural loss’ at Canada’s indigenous schools

Nov 28, 2017 by

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OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau offered a broad and emotional apology on Friday to indigenous people in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, where for much of the 20th century indigenous children were compelled to attend boarding schools that separated them from their families and cultures and, in many cases, subjected them to abuse.

In addition to the apology, the Canadian government settled a class-action lawsuit and will provide about 50 million Canadian dollars to about 900 former students of the five schools, which endured until 1980.

The decision came after a decade-long controversy over the federal government’s responsibility.

In 2008, Trudeau’s predecessor, Stephen Harper, apologized to indigenous people in the rest of Canada for a residential school program the federal government operated from the 19th century until 1996. A national Truth and Reconciliation Commission later condemned that system as a form of “cultural genocide.”

Because Newfoundland and Labrador did not join Canada until 1949, its boarding school system had different origins even if it had a similar legacy. Harper’s government took the view that the abuses committed there in the early 20th century were not the federal government’s fault.

Source: Justin Trudeau has apologized for the abuse and ‘profound cultural loss’ at Canada’s indigenous schools

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