Wednesday, December 8, 2021
ADVT 
National

Open letter asks PM to commit to reconciliation

Darpan News Desk The Canadian Press, 19 Oct, 2021 11:55 AM
  • Open letter asks PM to commit to reconciliation

KAMLOOPS, B.C. - Senior members of a British Columbia First Nation have issued an open letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that offers seven immediate steps he could take to show he is serious about reconciliation.

The letter from family heads of the Tk’emlúps te Secwepemc Nation comes a day after Trudeau visited their territory in Kamloops for the first time since more than 200 unmarked graves were found in May at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School.

In the open letter published in the Globe and Mail, the 13 family heads, including former Tk’emlúps chief Manny Jules, say they believe Trudeau wouldn't have visited "were it not for the grim reality of these unmarked graves."

They say they "want to believe the sincerity" of the prime minister's comments about the importance of reconciliation but urge him to commit to "seven real acts" to add action to his words.

Those include repatriating any remains of former students found on the grounds of the Kamloops residential school, creating a permanent memorial at the site and building a healing and education centre.

No one from the Prime Minister's Office was immediately available to comment on the letter.

The open letter also calls for control over taxation, rights and resources across Tk’emlúps territories, recognition of that control by the courts, and the lowering of the Canadian flag to half-mast every Sept. 30 "in memory of the lost cultures, languages, childhoods and lives taken by residential schools."

Trudeau apologized several times Monday for not attending events in Kamloops to mark the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on Sept. 30. He was on vacation in Tofino.

Tk'emlups Chief Rosanne Casimir told Trudeau on Monday that to truly honour the Sept. 30 date and the families whose children did not come home, flags should be flown at half-mast on that day.

The prime minister agreed, saying flags will always be lowered and a flag designed by the National Council for Truth and Reconciliation will be flown. "There will be an opportunity for all Canadians, non-Indigenous Canadians to reflect on the country we live in."

A similar petition seeking rights and title was presented by Tk'emlups ancestors to prime minister Wilfrid Laurier in 1910, the letter says.

That petition was not only rejected, "but the federal government supported the genocide of our people through the creation of residential schools, took away our voting rights, prevented our legal challenges relating to the title of our land, reduced the size of our reserves and formally removed our fiscal powers to ensure our sustainability," it says.

The letter says Canada will never achieve reconciliation "through words, apologies and mere signals of virtue," and adds that hard work lies ahead, pointing to a closing sentence in the 111-year-old petition to Laurier that they say remains true today.

"So long as what we consider justice is withheld from us, so long will dissatisfaction and unrest exist among us and we will continue to struggle to better ourselves."

 

MORE National ARTICLES

Beavers be gone, but not until spring

Beavers be gone, but not until spring

Officials in Cranbrook have been trying to relocate the beavers for the last month but a permit for the move is set to expire. A statement from the city says staff will focus on transferring the creatures to a more appropriate location early next year.

Beavers be gone, but not until spring

Man In Custody After Hours-Long Barricade

Man In Custody After Hours-Long Barricade

Police arrived at the suite at the building in the 600-block of Douglas Street shortly after noon, in an effort to apprehend a man wanted on several warrants under both the Criminal Code and the Mental Health Act.

Man In Custody After Hours-Long Barricade

1,846 COVID19 cases over 3 days

1,846 COVID19 cases over 3 days

There are currently 4,917 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, and 190,918 people who tested positive have recovered. Of the active cases, 360 individuals are currently in hospital and 151 are in intensive care. The remaining people are recovering at home in self-isolation.

1,846 COVID19 cases over 3 days

Surrey RCMP need the public's help in locating missing male Kulvinder Pooni

Surrey RCMP need the public's help in locating missing male Kulvinder Pooni

Pooni is described as an South Asian male, 70kg, 5.8”, short black hair, black goatee, black eyes, wearing a grey jacket with black pants. Pooni is known to frequent 120th Street and 72nd Avenue in Surrey. 

Surrey RCMP need the public's help in locating missing male Kulvinder Pooni

BoC chief warns of ongoing supply-chain pressures

BoC chief warns of ongoing supply-chain pressures

Annual inflation rates have run above the Bank of Canada's comfort zone since April, reaching 4.1 per cent in August. The central bank expects readings higher than its target of two-per-cent through the rest of the year.

BoC chief warns of ongoing supply-chain pressures

580 COVID19 cases and new rules for northern B.C. as COVID spreads

580 COVID19 cases and new rules for northern B.C. as COVID spreads

British Columbia's provincial health officer has announced new restrictions for the northern health region in an attempt to stop the rapid spread of COVID-19 through those who are unvaccinated.  Dr. Bonnie Henry announced the further restrictions will continue until Nov. 19.

580 COVID19 cases and new rules for northern B.C. as COVID spreads

PrevNext