GPO leader Mike Schreiner issued the following statement regarding the Truth and Reconciliation Commission ceremony today:
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission Reports released last year shed more light on the tragic abuse that First Nation communities suffered as a result of Canada’s residential school system. As the report says, the abuse of innocent children–torn from their families, their language and their culture–was part of a policy of cultural genocide.
This is one of the darkest chapters in our country’s history.
The TRC report is not only an unprecedented accounting of past mistakes, but also a chance for meaningful reconciliation. All Canadians now have an opportunity to forge new relationships built on mutual respect, dignity, trust and equality.
We need more than apologies. We need meaningful action and a full partnership with our First Nations, Métis and Inuit brothers and sisters.
We must work together to improve the rampant inequality First Nation communities face. This is particularly true with regard to education, housing, health care, and access to nutritious food and clean water.
The crises that we have witnessed in Attawapiskat, Grassy Narrows and other indigenous communities across our own province cannot be ignored. The government must partner with indigenous communities to ensure that action is taken to provide the best possible lives for First Nations.
It is important for Ontario to conduct a Truth and Reconciliation Commission ceremony to commemorate this historic report.
Now we have an obligation to work together to turn words into action. We cannot stand idle.