Canadian leaders responded on Monday to the recent discovery of a mass grave at a former residential school in British Columbia.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he was “appalled by the shameful policy that stole Indigenous children from their communities.” He vowed to take “concrete action,” stating that he plans to speak to his cabinet ministers about “the next and further things we need to do to support survivors and the community.”
Canadian Green Party Leader Annamie Paul urged the federal government to fulfill the calls to action contained in the 2015 Truth and Reconciliation Report, while also stating that the government should call on the pope to apologize for the Catholic Church’s part in the tragedy of residential schools.
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said he would be calling for an emergency debate in the House of Commons. Singh, who was visibly emotional, also took 51 seconds to find his words when asked what message he had for the families who are hoping for closure after losing loved ones in residential schools.
Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole urged Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to take “immediate action,” asking the government to accelerate the completion of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to actions.
The Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation in Kamloops announced on May 27 that ground-penetrating radar had uncovered the remains of 215 children who were students of the Kamloops Indian Residential School.