Coast Salish Traditional Territory/West Vancouver – First Nations Leaders today welcomed Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s statement of apology on behalf of Canada for the government’s role in the Indian Residential School System. Today the Leadership Council stands in support of residential school survivors and their families. This is also a day to remember those who died because of the residential school system.
“The full story of the residential school system’s impact on our people has yet to be told,” said Grand Chief Edward John of the First Nations Summit. “The responses to the apology are both individual and collective. It is extremely important that we respect the many survivors who, in their own discretion and time, will consider the Prime Minister’s apology and determine how, in their own interest, each of them will deal with it. Collectively, we celebrate and stand on the dignity of who we are and celebrate our survival. Together, we will build for our individual and collective well-being. We ask Canadians to join with us in this important historical moment to talk about and understand the depths and consequences of the multi-layered and intergenerational impacts on our people.”