Victoria, B.C. – The B.C. Green Party commends the final report from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which for the first time describes the residential school program as cultural genocide. Furthermore, the B.C. Green Party strongly calls on the provincial and federal governments to implement as quickly as possible the report’s ninety-four recommendations.
“My family and I have been directly impacted by the residential school program,” said B.C. Green Party Interim Leader Adam Olsen. “But I want to emphasize that residential schools have not just affected Aboriginal people – they have affected every single Canadian, because it is an inextricable part of our Canadian identity. Now that we have named the truth of what happened, we have to face it directly. I will be looking for the provincial and federal governments to demonstrate the political will to act on this report and its recommendations.”
The residential school program was established in the 1840s, with the last schools closing in 1996. The program forcibly removed aboriginal children from their families and placed them within church-run, government-funded residential schools in an attempt to eliminate their language and culture. At least 6,000 children died while in the care of residential schools, mostly from malnourishment and disease. Many children were also the victims of physical, sexual and emotional abuse.
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Stefan Jonsson, Director of Communications
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