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September 1st, 2020

NDP responds to former residential schools named national historic sites

NDP deputy critic for Crown-Indigenous Relations and Indigenous Services, Gord Johns, made the following statement:

"We're hearing from many residential school survivors who feel today's announcement is an important step in their healing process. The government must continue to acknowledge its long history of deliberately trying to wipe out Indigenous peoples.

It's up to Indigenous peoples to decide if they want these sites preserved or demolished and the government should honour those choices. The cost of tearing down these buildings or preserving them must never fall on residential school survivors or their communities — it's not their job to clean up what the government's done.

It's important that this part of history not be forgotten and more still needs to be done.

The government is still fighting residential school survivors in court as well as children and families who've suffered from the child welfare system. While commemoration is important, the government has an obligation to stop participating in the harm that's still ongoing.

New Democrats are asking the government to listen to residential school survivors and fund the building or much-needed healing centres."