Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations Chief Bobby Cameron said it was disappointing that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau did not visit the Star Blanket Cree Nation, while in the province today, just days after the First Nation announced the discovery of 2000 anomalies and a jawbone belonging to a young child at the site of the former Lebret Indian Industrial School.

“The Prime Minister is without the decency to pay his respects in person to Star Blanket, as they mourn the horrific discovery. His lack of respect is hurtful towards all residential school survivors and descendants, who are grappling with how to handle finding the child’s remains and more unmarked graves,” said FSIN Chief Bobby Cameron.

The FSIN said Trudeau was invited to the Star Blanket Cree Nation, but that his office indicated he declined the invite as he was waiting confirmation on a meeting with the Japanese Prime Minister. Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Marc Miller attended the press event via Zoom. 

“We want him to see the site. The amount of anomalies is devastating to our people, who wonder how many of our relatives may have died there. This is a dark part of Canadian history that deserves acknowledgement from the Prime Minister of Canada,” File Hills Qu’appelle Tribal Chair Jeremy Fourhorns said.

Trudeau was in Saskatoon on Monday touring a rare-earth metals processing facility. The FSIN said it is preparing to formally invite Trudeau to the Star Blanket Cree Nation in the coming months. The First Nation explained that it will honour the remains of the child and conduct a proper burial. It will also investigate all 2000 anomalies, which includes core-drilling sampling for DNA.

(Screenshot of Prime Minister Trudeau in Saskatoon.0