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2008 - Prime Minister Harper apologizes to residential school survivors

July 4, 2008

On behalf of the Canadian Federal Government, Stephen Harper apologizes to the survivors of the Indian Residential School System.

"Nous le regrettons, We are sorry, Nimitataynan, Niminchinowesamin, Mamiattugut."

You can read the full statement here: Statement of Apology


Many Aboriginal people felt that the apology was insincere, and insufficient, because it lacked actionable change.  These suspicions were confirmed when Paul Bunner -PM Harper's speech writer at the time - spoke to the press about how the apology was a “strategic attempt to kill the story.”


"The best that can be said of Harper’s apology is that it was a strategic attempt to kill the story and move on to a better relationship between Native s and Non-Natives,” wrote Bunner. “Unfortunately, it only appears to have deepened the conviction that Church and State conspired not only to ‘kill the Indian in the child,’ but also to physically exterminate the whole race. The Aboriginal grievance and entitlement narrative continues to gather momentum.”- APTN


Digging Deeper


Recently, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has also issued his own apology to those affected by the Indian Residential School system. It has been met with mixed reception.

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