Truth and Reconciliation Commission finds government responsible for ‘Cultural Genocide’

2015-06-09 13:17

Truth and Reconciliation Commission finds
government responsible for ‘Cultural Genocide’

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Committee has released its report
on the residential school system that Aboriginal children –
including Metis and Inuit children – were forced to attend. The
program started in the 1870’s and continued until the last schools
were closed in the 1990’s.

All findings point to “cultural

Evidence shows that the government tried to eliminate the culture
and language of Canada’s indigenous people for well over a hundred
years. They did so by forcibly removing children from their
families and placing them in institutions that the Commission has
characterized as cultural indoctrination centres.

The Canadian Labour Congress
stands in solidarity with the victims of the residential school
system and calls on all levels of government to adopt and implement
every one of the Commission’s recommendations.

Justice Murray Sinclair, who was Manitoba’s first aboriginal judge,
said one estimate made in the early part of the 20th century was
that 24 to 42 per cent of Aboriginal children who attended the
residential schools died at school or shortly after leaving school.
The findings point to a ‘cultural genocide’ of Aboriginal peoples.

“The Commission’s research into the abuse, deaths and mental
degradation of Aboriginal children must be taken seriously by all
levels of government, as well as the Canadian public,” said CLC
president Hassan Yussuff.

“Now Canada, and all Canadians, have a responsibility to ensure
that all the recommendations are implemented and everything
possible is done to ensure meaningful reconciliation.”

On May 31, in anticipation of the report release, CLC officers,
Barb Byers and Donald Lafleur marched with 10,000 staff,
affiliates, union retirees and other Canadians in the Walk for
Reconciliation in Ottawa.

The CLC has a strong relationship with the Aboriginal community and
will continue to work with labour’s Aboriginal committees and
working groups to ensure all levels of government implement the
report’s recommendations.

In addition to continuing to support Aboriginal workers, the CLC
will incorporate the Commission’s findings into our educational and
other resources.