Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is apologizing for travelling for a vacation on a day meant to honor Indigenous survivors of Canada’s residential schools system
The newly reelected prime minister has faced intense criticism for the Sept. 30 trip after he was filmed on a beach on Vancouver island. His itinerary initially reported he was in Ottawa for private meetings.
“Travelling on the 30th was a mistake, and I regret it,” Trudeau said at a news conference. “This first National Day of Truth and Reconciliation was an important moment for all of us — Indigenous and non-Indigenous — to reflect, and to remember.”
Trudeau thanked a local chief for taking his call on the weekend so he could apologize for not accepting an invitation to her community on the day.
The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation was declared by Trudeau’s government after the discovery of 215 children found buried at a former Indigenous residential school in Kamloops, Columbia Britânica attracted worldwide attention this year.
Many non-Indigenous Canadians had not been aware of the extent of the problems at the schools until the remains were found.
From the 19th century until the 1970s, mais que 150,000 Indigenous children were forced to attend state-funded Christian boarding schools in an effort to assimilate them into Canadian society. Thousands of children died there of disease and other causes, with many never returned to their families
“I’m focused on making this right,” Trudeau said.
Many analysts have called Trudeau tone deaf for his vacation and questioned who is advising him
“How it happened is far less important than it happened," ele disse.
Trudeau’s Liberal Party won reelection last month but must rely on one opposition party to pass legislation.