Throne Speech Promises Residential School Apology

Wednesday, October 17, 2007 at 16:03



First Nations leaders across the country are welcoming a commitment from the Prime Minister to formally apologize to survivors of residential schools in the upcoming session of Parliament.


The pledge was included in yesterday’s Speech from the Throne.


Assembly of First Nations National Chief Phil Fontaine says he was very pleased to hear that promise.


Fontaine says he will press Prime Minister Stephen Harper to make the apology as soon as possible and in an “appropriate, public ceremony”.


Meanwhile, Ontario Regional Chief Angus Toulouse is expressing reservation about the government’s intention to re-introduce legislation to repeal Section 67 of the Canadian Human Rights Act.


Toulouse notes First Nations opposed Bill C-44 and received the support of the majority of the Parliamentary Aboriginal Affairs Committee.


He says, “I want to be very clear that First Nations leaders support access to human rights for their people. But what First Nations are saying is that the repeal of Section 67 must be well-planned and take into account the administrative and financial capacity that First Nations will require to deal with situations that may result from the repeal of this section.”