Ottawa (May 15, 2008) - The following statement was released today by the Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians, concerning the Federal Government's apology to former students of Indian Residential Schools:
"I am pleased and very proud to announce that the Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Stephen Harper, on behalf of the Federal Government and all Canadians, will make a statement of apology to former students of Indian Residential Schools on June 11 in the House of Commons.
Thousands of former students and National Chief Phil Fontaine of the Assembly of First Nations, who is a former student of a residential school, have been calling for a formal apology from the Government of Canada for a number of years. Our Government shares their view that the apology is a crucial step in the journey towards healing and reconciliation.
With the Settlement Agreement and the Indian Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission, I am hopeful that the apology will help turn the page from the sad legacy of Indian Residential Schools and open a new chapter - one that is founded on renewed hope, faith, mutual respect and trust.
This will be a chapter that all Canadians can feel proud of."
For further information please contact:
Office of the Honourable Chuck Strahl
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada