Innu Nation won't accept Trudeau's apology for residential schools in N.L.
Prime minister will apologize to the province's residential school survivors Friday morning in Labrador
The Innu Nation will not accept Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's apology to the province's residential school survivors Friday.
Trudeau will be in Happy Valley-Goose Bay in the morning for a special ceremony.
In a release sent to media, Innu Nation wrote it feels the apology will be too narrow, covering just residential schools. They argue Innu people have also suffered under other institutions, like Mount Cashel Orphanage, and the provincial child protection system which exists today.
"Our Elders are not ready to accept an apology that is made for such a small part of our experience," Grand Chief Gregory Rich said in a statement.
"Frankly, I don't think Canada is truly ready to make an apology to Innu if it does not include recognition of other
damages done to our people – I'm not satisfied that Canada understands yet what it has done to Innu and what it is still doing."
There are plans for an inquiry into the treatment of Innu children currently under the province's care, but no date has yet been set for it to proceed.
Ottawa had said that federal representatives would not be attending the inquiry, only supporting it. That included a pledge of $250,000 to support the inquiry.
The Innu Nation and the province are still working on the details of the pending inquiry.
Indigenous Services Minister Jane Philpott reversed Ottawa's stance last week, when she told CBC's As It Happens that federal representatives would be at the inquiry after all.
The release from the Innu Nation says will not be participating in tomorrow's ceremony as an organization, though individual members are free to decide whether or not to attend.
Trudeau was in Clarenville, Newfoundland Thursday evening to support the Liberal candidate in the upcoming byelection in the riding of Bonavista-Burin-Trinity. He did not take questions from the media.
Survivors of Newfoundland and Labrador residential schools were left out of a 2008 apology made to survivors in the rest of the country by former prime minister Stephen Harper and his Conservative government.
Trudeau's apology follows a $50 million dollar settlement last year of a class action suit launched more than a decade ago.