MNC Statement on Residential Schools
Vancouver, BC – (September 22, 2013) With the second last national event of the TRC now concluded, and the last one being put in place for March 2014 in Alberta, President Chartier calls upon the federal government to reconsider its position with respect to Métis boarding/residential schools and include such excluded schools in the reconciliation process.
“If the federal government continues to exclude Métis residential schools from the reconciliation process including the government’s apology and settlement agreement, a stain will remain in its efforts to correct its past racist assimilation efforts” stated President Chartier, concluding that “if all Aboriginal peoples are not included in the reconciliation initiative, then it will ultimately remain as incomplete and exclusionary”.
President Chartier also calls upon the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to carefully craft its final report to ensure that it does not inadvertently leave the impression that Métis residential schools were part of the reconciliation effort under their mandate, while at the same time making note that a small number of Métis were fortunate to have attended an Indian residential school and were therefore included in the process.
“The work of the TRC is both important and critical to the evolving relationship between Aboriginal peoples and Canada” stated President Chartier, re-affirming that “in the case of the Métis Nation and the exclusion of Métis residential schools, the TRC must be extremely vigilant in its conclusions that this issue must be addressed head-on, with a direct statement that such residential schools were excluded, and that the federal government must work positively to rectify this exclusion”.
While attending parts of the TRC event in Vancouver, President Chartier also noted the need for sustained work with those former students covered by the settlement agreement and mandate of the TRC and calls upon the federal government to continue its support for the Aboriginal Healing Foundation, the Healing Centres and the TRC itself.
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