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June 3rd, 2021

Jagmeet Singh calls on the Liberals to act for genuine reconciliation

Enough with the symbolic gestures, concrete action needed to help reconcile with Indigenous people

OTTAWA – Today, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh presented the NDP Opposition Day Motion calling on Justin Trudeau’s Liberals to take concrete action for real reconciliation with Indigenous people. While we have seen an outpouring of grief and anger at the discovery of 215 children found buried at the Kamloops Indian Residential School, the Liberals are still fighting First Nations children and Residential School Survivors in court.

“Survivors, families and nations are demanding concrete action to advance real reconciliation, as opposed to just more words and symbolic gestures,” said Singh. “While the Liberals have been in power for 6 years, they have failed to implement the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Furthermore, in less than two weeks, the Liberals are back in court fighting First Nations children, denying them justice, and refusing to comply with Canadian Human Rights Tribunal orders. This must end. No more fighting Indigenous kids in court.”

The NDP Opposition Day motion calls on the Liberals to end their legal battle against First Nation children and accept the findings of the Human Rights Tribunal. The NDP is also calling on the Liberals to end their legal battle against St. Anne's Residential School survivors. While it has been six years since the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) issued its 94 calls to action, only a fraction of those have been implemented. The NDP is calling on the Liberal to accelerate the adoption of the TRC calls to action. To help survivors of Residential Schools, their families and communities, the Liberals must provide appropriate resources to assist with the emotional, physical, spiritual, mental, and cultural trauma.The NDP is also calling on the Liberal government to act with urgency on all Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls report’s Calls to Justice.

“The Liberals cannot claim to honour the spirits of children who died in residential schools when they continue to take Indigenous kids to court,” said NDP Critic for Indigenous Youth, Charlie Angus. “This same government cannot claim to take their role in reconciliation seriously when they force survivors of residential schools to wage legal battles for recognition and compensation. New Democrats will fight for justice and real reconciliation with Indigenous people.”

“As Canada reckons with its accountability for the deaths of 215 children from the Kamloops Residential Schools, in two weeks it will send its lawyers to fight against honouring the TRC’s top Calls to Action to end the injustices for this generation of First Nations children.” - Cindy Blackstock, Executive Director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada