Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

June 16, 2010 12:32 ET

Government of Canada Continues to Support Strengthened and Renewed Relationships With Aboriginal People

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(Marketwire - June 16, 2010) - The Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians, today announced the Government of Canada's intention to repeal old provisions of the Indian Act that provide the authority to establish Indian Residential Schools and remove children from their homes and communities. The announcement was made on the occasion of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's first national event on Indian Residential Schools, being held in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

"This is a long overdue gesture of reconciliation," said Minister Strahl. "I want to eliminate forever the portions of the Indian Act that caused such suffering among Aboriginal families. This gesture reinforces our government's unwavering commitment to establish a new relationship with Aboriginal people."

"The Government will work with Aboriginal groups and parliamentarians on a proposal to remove these outdated provisions of the Indian Act. Going forward, it is my intention to sit with all willing partners to reform and strengthen education, and to support student success and provide greater hope and opportunity," said Minister Strahl. "Education enables individuals to succeed, communities to flourish, and economies to prosper. There is no single change we can all aspire to bring about, that would make a bigger difference, than to close the intolerable gap in high school graduation rates."

"This gesture is an important demonstration of our government's commitment to healing and reconciliation. It builds upon the considerable progress we have made in strengthening the relationship between all Canadians and the Aboriginal peoples of this country," added the Honourable Vic Toews, Minister of Public Safety and Member of Parliament for Provencher.

The first national event of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission hosted over 5,000 people including former students, leaders of national and regional Aboriginal organizations, church groups and members of the general public. "It's one of many gestures that illustrate our desire as a government and a nation to foster a spirit of reconciliation between Aboriginal peoples and all Canadians," Minister Strahl said.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission is one of the components of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement which was negotiated by the Government of Canada, Aboriginal organizations, the Churches and claimant counsel. It was established in 2008, and is intended to create a lasting and positive legacy of the stories and experiences of Indian Residential School survivors. 

Information on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission is available at www.trc.ca

Indian Residential Schools: http://www.ainc-inac.gc.ca/ai/rqpi/index-eng.asp

Common Experience Payments: http://www.ainc-inac.gc.ca/ai/rqpi/cep/index-eng.asp

Independent Assessment Process: http://www.ainc-inac.gc.ca/ai/rqpi/inasspr/index-eng.asp

Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement: http://www.residentialschoolsettlement.ca/

Contact Information

  • Media Relations
    Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
    819-953-1160
    or
    Minister's Office
    Michelle Yao
    Press Secretary
    Office of the Honourable Chuck Strahl
    819-997-0002