150 attend interfaith Honour the Apology rally
Demonstrators outraged over 1940s nutritional experiments on aboriginal people
About 150 people gathered at The Forks Thursday afternoon to honour residential school survivors and call on the federal government to release all the information it has on injustices against aboriginal people.
People from multiple faith groups participated in Winnipeg’s Honour the Apology rally, part of multiple such rallies held across Canada Thursday.
"As a human family, I believe how the creator designed us is that if one feels pain, we all feel it," said Roger Armbruster of the Fellowship of Christian Assemblies. Armbruster participated in the event’s grand entry, an event typically lead only by aboriginal leaders.
The nation-wide interfaith rallies were sparked by the revelation nutritional experiments had been conducted on aboriginal families and children without their knowledge or consent in the 1940s.
The news sparked outrage among aboriginal communities and others.
"In the days after I found out, I was talking to people from other communities -- faith groups -- and they all said the same thing, that they were upset," said Wab Kinew, a co-organizer of the event.
For Kinew, the news of the experiments hit closet o home. His father and uncle attended residential schools when the experiments took place.
Now, people across Canada are calling on the federal government to release any information it has on any other injustices.
"Canadians want to know everything about what happened in their history, not just a limited or sanitized version of what happened," he said.
A petition was also passed around Thursday, demanding an inquiry into the experiments and the release of any documents related to them.
"This isn’t yesterday’s problem. This is today’s problem, and it’s a problem for every Canadian to consider," said Manitoba’s Grand Chief Derek Nepinak.
Armbruster agrees. "There is an opportunity here to bring these issues back to the fore, now that even government leaders are having to respond."