Tk’emlúps te Secwepemc leader calls Trudeau visit ‘bittersweet’ – .

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Tk’emlúps te Secwepemc leader calls Trudeau visit ‘bittersweet’ – .


OTTAWA – Tk’emlúps te Secwepemc Chief Rosanne Casimir told Prime Minister Justin Trudeau his visit to the First Nations community on Monday was “bittersweet” after his notable absence from the Day 1 recognition ceremony National for Truth and Reconciliation.

Chief Casimir said Trudeau’s decision to forgo their two invitations to vacation with his family in Tofino, B.C. on September 30 caused “shock, anger, grief and disbelief. In the community.

“Today it is about taking steps forward and correcting a mistake. We wanted to make sure Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visits what we call a sacred site, ”she said.

“It was a long-awaited moment to receive a personal hand of gratitude and sympathy for this horrific confirmation of anonymous graves by the Canadian Head of State. “

Earlier this year, it was reported that some 200 anonymous graves had been found near the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School.

Parliament passed a bill last June to recognize a National Truth and Reconciliation Day every September 30. It’s a holiday for federal workers, but the government has stressed it should be a day of reflection.

After listening to the leader’s remarks, Trudeau responded, once again noting that he wished he had been with the grieving community and “deeply” regrets his decision to go on vacation instead.

“But I am here today to take the hand extended by the Tk’emlúps te Secwepemc and so many Indigenous Canadians across the country who have every reason in the world to be pessimistic and gloomy about the future,” said he declared.

Trudeau said Chief Casimir could have turned his back on her, but instead invited him back.

“She reached out, she said ‘please come on, listen and learn and we’ll walk this path together and that’s why I’m here,’” he said.

He said he and his government were determined to do better.

“There is so much more to do and we will always be here to do this job,” he said. “By making sure to support the language and culture that have made this community strong and vibrant for generations, despite previous governments’ efforts to eradicate them.” “

The Prime Minister also said flags on federal buildings, including Parliament Hill, will be half mast every September 30 to recognize the day.

If you are a former residential school student in distress or have been affected by the residential school system and need assistance, you can contact the 24 hour residential schools crisis line: 1-866-925- 4419

Additional Aboriginal mental health support and resources are available here.

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