Ottawa, Ontario (June 11, 2010) - The following statement was released by the Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians:
''Today marks the second anniversary of the historic apology to former students of Indian Residential Schools that the Prime Minister made on behalf of the Government of Canada and all Canadians. The Apology of June 11, 2008 marked the beginning of an era of reconciliation and a renewal of the relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples in Canada. We continue to work closely with former students, their families, and communities in the spirit of reconciliation and healing.
In the last two years, tangible progress has been made in fulfilling the Government of Canada's commitments under the Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement, notably the processing of the Common Experience Payment and the adjudication of claims through the Independent Assessment Process. [Further information can be found at INAC]
This year's anniversary is especially meaningful as it precedes the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's first national event, which will start on June 16th. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission is an important part of the reconciliation process. Events such as the one being held in Winnipeg in just a few days and the ones that will follow will help create a lasting legacy by raising awareness through the sharing of experiences.
Today's anniversary is an opportunity for all Canadians to reflect on the lessons of the residential schools era, and for us all to renew our commitment to work together to build a better future. Our Government continues to act to make meaningful and sustainable improvements in the lives of Aboriginal people.''
For more information, please contact:
Office of the Honourable Chuck Strahl
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
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