June 11th, 2018

NDP Statement on the National Day of Healing and Reconciliation

Jagmeet Singh, Leader of Canada’s NDP issued the following statement:

"National Day of Healing and Reconciliation is an opportunity for settler Canadians to reflect on their relationship with First Nations, Inuit and Metis people, and bring healing to that relationship by making concrete amends towards reconciliation.

The first step towards healing is recognizing the harm done. That means remembering that in the 19th century, Indigenous Leaders entered into a treaty relationship with Canada with high hopes that the relationship would be two-sided. While we cannot change the past, we must be honest as settlers, and educate ourselves about the lasting effects of our history, and the continued displacement of Indigenous peoples in Canada.

We must also remember that Indigenous Peoples walk through a society built on colonial values, where every day is a reminder of how much work still needs to be done to ensure all children in Canada can look forward to the future.

In order for this to happen, we must ensure that our laws, policies and actions are informed and guided by the values of honest consultation and respect for inherent and treaty rights.

That’s why I am so inspired by the work of my colleague, MP Romeo Saganash, his 34 years of working on the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), and his recently passed legislation in Parliament to adopt UNDRIP into Canadian law. (HYPERLINK)

We also need to ensure that our colonial history does not repeat itself. In this, I am proud to stand by my colleague Charlie Angus, and his work on suicide prevention for Indigenous youth, and his motion calling on Pope Francis to apologize for the Catholic Church’s role in the establishment and operation of Canada’s Residential school system. (HYPERLINK)

Building stronger relationships with the first people of this land is a necessary step towards forging a future path forward, together. It will not be easy but there is hope in the spirit embodied by the Indigenous Treaty signatories.

Let us have the courage to commit to healing, so that we can make sure First Nations, Inuit and Metis people are no longer faced with empty apologies or promises."