Innu Nation says it will refuse Trudeau’s Labrador residential school apology - APTN NewsAPTN News

Innu Nation says it will refuse Trudeau’s Labrador residential school apology

Justin Brake
The Innu Nation says it will not accept an apology from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for Canada’s role in the residential school system in Labrador, APTN News has been told.

Trudeau is scheduled to be in Happy Valley-Goose Bay Friday to make the apology in person.

But the Innu leadership said the residential school system that saw children ripped from their families is too similar to the number of Innu children in the care of the province and living away from their families.

“A lot of these kids that are outside of the communities are suffering a loss of identity, loss of culture and loss of connection to family,” said Innu Nation Grand Chief Gregory Rich.

In fact, elders and community members told leadership not to even attend the apology, said Rich.

Helen Andrew, 51, of Sheshatshiu spent seven years at the Yale residential school in North West River.

“When I was taken from my parents in the 70s I was a little girl,” she said, adding two of her sisters were also taken. “There was sexual and physical abuse.”

Andrew said when she finally got to go home she barely spoke her own language and her parents didn’t speak any English.

“I was speaking part English and Innu to them so they didn’t understand,” she recalled.

But Andrew believes the impact on her people started before the residential school era, when they were forced to settle where they are now in the 1960s.

She said they were nomadic people who migrated with the caribou.

“When we were told to settle here that had a great, devastating effect on our culture,” she said.

Labrador was left out of former prime minister Stephen Harper’s 2008 apology. Canada maintained it did not have a responsibility to the students of the province’s five residential schools because Newfoundland and Labrador joined Confederation in 1949, after the schools began operating.

Shortly after taking office, the Liberals settled a $50 million class-action lawsuit that the Harper administration had been fighting.

The issue of Innu children in state care is the subject of an upcoming provincial inquiry that was announced July 6.

The Innu Nation and province of Newfoundland and Labrador are currently working out the terms of reference for the inquiry.

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9 Responses to “Innu Nation says it will refuse Trudeau’s Labrador residential school apology”

    Shirley Martin November 26, 2017 at 5:16 pm #

    The amount of compensation Omar Khadijah is a slap on the face to First Nations people everywhere. They lie , cheat, steal,rape and kill, they are not letting terrorists in THEY are the terrorists! Wake up. Muslims did not open residential schools nor did they rape, kill and molest my 3 generations! Stop hating people for nothing and point the finger at our own corrupt and ineffective leadership! We need to get rid of them because they are the obstacle on our path to freedom. They are nothing but two bit puppets who are owned by hitler, bought and paid for PET INDIANS ! hitlers Whores ! The problem is in our communities and we have to confront it for our children’s sake. They need us to stand up and fight not lay down and die! Amen. The Great Spirit is on our side. Fight Back

    MrsK November 24, 2017 at 11:11 pm #

    ……”Labrador was left out of former prime minister Stephen Harper’s 2008 apology stating that Canada did not manage the state-run schools in the province.” AND that is the TRUTH. So WHY should Canadians now pay for these folks with tax dollars? I appreciate all that they went through, in fact, more accurately, I can’t even imagine what some of these kids went through. But it is NOT the responsibility of TODAY’S TAX PAYING CITIZENS to make up for things we had ZERO control over. Like or not, accept it or not, but Harper was right.

    Elmars November 24, 2017 at 8:15 pm #

    Trudeau and the liberals should be offering similar compensation that he gave to Omar Khadr who had his rights violated and faced abuse,he knew what he was doing.What is the difference with the Residential school system,rights violated and abuse.Pay up!

      larry fossum November 25, 2017 at 5:48 am #

      I agree Elmars. I am a 71 year old white Canadian from British Columbia who for the first time is listening intently and truly horrified with what previous Canadian governments did to Indigenous peoples over the past 150 years. Omar Khadr became a millionaire many times over. How can Trudeau stand in front of the country and the abused survivors and shed his tears when the maximum payout to a child of Labrador Newfoundland is $200,000? (I understand that is maximum. (The worst of the worst abused!) I now read and try to educate myself as a Canadian citizen about reconciliation, study the report, look at the haunting e pictures, listen to the scandalous inaction and missed opportunity that the missing women’s inquiry missed. Canada should be so much better. I now try to educate as many people as I can in normal conversation or discussion. I know there are many more Canadians for the first time in their lives have conversations and are educating themselves this very shameful Canadian history.

    deep November 24, 2017 at 7:28 pm #

    first cathilic snake destroyed native indian culture .TRUDEAU IS CATHOLIC and now librals are destroying canada by mass immigration into canada breeding terrorists.

    Norm Dill November 24, 2017 at 2:19 pm #

    One of the big challenges with reconciliation between the collective of First Nations and other Canadians in general is that too many nations apparently cannot be satisfied with anything short of surrender of the country to them. I understand the anger and hurt of the woman describing how when she came back from residential school she was unable to communicate with her parents, that is truly tragic. But an inability to forgive is a guaranty of hell on earth. If she can’t do it, the elders, the leaders, have to find a way. Reconciliation is a two way street and eventually the good will of leaders like Trudeau runs out and make no mistake, this is good will from Trudeau. Even if his good will does not run out, eventually he or his party will be voted out and the good will may be less next time.

    Bella November 24, 2017 at 10:14 am #

    There will never be anyone who will take away the pain, apologize and have the monies for the fore fathers of this country and ask forgiveness…..but this is a start….and not his fault…

    Jocelyne Cameron November 23, 2017 at 10:15 pm #

    An apology for the past, misguided policy is worthless unless it is accompanied by new better policies to make it possible to keep the Labrador children in their own communities today and in the future.

    Bruno Brown November 23, 2017 at 9:50 pm #

    They are right to snub Mr Arrogant with his crocodile smile, smiling faces show no traces of the danger that lurks within.Publicity , publicity I want all the publicity I can get, I care nothing for the people, the rich are the only ones that matter, that’s what his smile saye