Conservative Senator Lynn Beyak unrepentant toward school survivors

In a letter published on her website earlier this month, Ontario Conservative Senator Lynn Beyak refused to back down from controversial comments she made in April.

APTN National News

In a letter published on her website earlier this month, Ontario Conservative Senator Lynn Beyak refused to back down from controversial comments she made in April.

Back then she said “some good” had come out of residential schools.

As a result, interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose dropped Beyak from the Senate’s committee on Aboriginal Peoples.

The letter dated September 1 is in response to the federal government’s decision to split the Department of Indigenous Affairs into two separate ministries.

But Beyak used the occasion to defend her previous comments on residential schools, saying many people had shown support for her position.

“A small number of aboriginals found the schools bad and a slightly smaller number found them good,” she wrote in the letter. “Only one in three Indigenous children ever attended them.

“Very few were torn from their parent’s arms, but rather were enrolled by loving parents who were away trapping and trading for months on end, and who wanted to prepare their children for the future.”

Beyak went on to say that the Indian Act was holding back Indigenous people.

And that the 1969 white paper, which advocated assimilation into non-Indigenous society, “got it right.”

“Trade your status card for a Canadian citizenship, with a fair and negotiated payout to each Indigenous man, woman, and child in Canada, to settle all the outstanding land claims and treaties, and move forward together just like the leaders already do in Ottawa,” she said.

“All Canadians are then free to preserve their cultures in their own communities, on their own time, with their own dime.”

Beyak also commented that the recent talk about removing John A. Macdonald’s name from schools and monuments is misguided.

“Sir John A. Macdonald’s role in the founding of Canada is significant. There is no need for a divisive debate on monuments and statues, or buildings and bridges when valuable tax dollars could be used to provide clean water and decent housing instead.”

Several people condemned her comments.

“Senator Lynn Beyak is a paid right wing troll,” NDP leadership candidate Charlie Angus posted on social media.

“She was appointed to the Senate by Harper where she lives off the salary and benefits of Canadian taxpayers despite having no credibility, competence or fitness for public office. Canadians deserve better.”

Mohawk musician Murray Porter posted:

“(Beyak) suggested that we trade in our status cards for Canadian citizenship cards and accept a payout and rescind our Native status!!’ I suggest that she rescind her ‘lifetime’ status as a senator and become a regular citizen without getting a huge salary for doing nothing!!”

And in a statement to APTN National News, Indigenous-Crown Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett said she was disappointed.

“I am deeply disappointed that Senator Lynn Beyak continues to provide these uninformed and simply offensive comments for issues which she clearly doesn’t understand,” she said in the statement.

“What is also worrying is that she still won’t admit she has a lot to learn. Once again we suggest she sit down and listen to some of the survivors of residential schools. They have a great deal to teach her.”

Multiple attempts by APTN to contact Senator Beyak went unanswered.

Contact APTN National News here: [email protected]

12 thoughts on “Conservative Senator Lynn Beyak unrepentant toward school survivors

  1. There are many in society, both Canadian and North “American” who believe that being Indigenous is equated to being inferior. In order to raise the “noble” savage up to the level of the superior White race, one must teach their children to act like White people. The institutions tried to teach gay people to become straight, by the use of therapies that would reward/punish bad behavior. The Ivy League schools of psychology stated, till the mid-1960’s, “are non-white people intelligent”?. Since the conservatives never believed Native people to possess intelligence; was their purpose to exterminate the Native people? Like Hitler tried to do with Jews, Gypsies, the disabled/ handicapped and other undesirables? In the early Civil Rights Movement, the struggle was about school desegregation and the effects of Jim Crow. In every respect Native peoples suffer from an unwritten law of Jim Crow. What of the Rights of Native people and the Right of Self-Determination?

  2. If Senators are the litmus test on who we are as a nation, then I think this Senate needs to change and remove Honourable Lynn Beyak from her position as a Senator. Canada needs a Senate that reflects the true values of Canadians. Honourable Lynn Beyak’s comments are truly ignorant, embarrassing and dishonourable. I hope she is removed from the Senate.

  3. Why hasn’t The Rebel media pounced on this story i’m sure she will be a special guest on the racist rag soon.

  4. What a ignorant selfrighteous bigot, she has no idea what we went through, does she even know that alot of children have not lived through those years and that the parents of those children don’t know if their children are alive or else where, and that is what they have or had to live with.And that the parents have died not knowing where they are.That stupid stupid, unfeeling thing, I have no idea how to identify her. She is no human being as she does not know anything just by what she is told. I can go on and on about it but she is not worthy..

  5. I am a white 2nd generation male. Lynn Beyak is everything that is wrong with Canada especially as regards with dealing with First Nations Peoples. I grew up with a distorted view of Canadian History but it didn’t take long to understand and see what really happened. Her remarks of only 1 in 3 are horrific and disturbing. As if one third means nothing. I am most appreciative to live on First Nations land and cannot stand by while people who look like me utter such repugnant views. Please allow me to offer an apology for her vile language and opinions. We have so far to go to and the smallest of steps forward keep being erased by such ignorance. I have the deepest respect for First Nations Peoples and believe we can resolve my cultures past atrocities but not until they are fully acknowledged and addressed tangibly with more than simple words. My culture has mountains of ignorance and shame to be removed before we can be offered true standing with this lands keepers. I am constantly amazed at the patience and wisdom of First Nations Peoples. We have so much to learn from them. To Lynn Beyak you are the epitome of white privilege and ignorance. I implore you while you are still in a position of power to open your eyes and your heart and use the gifts you have been given to understand the magnitude of the holocaust that has happened in this country. You are a human being and your fellow human beings are crying out to be heard..Can you not hear them?

  6. It is unfortunate that some are still uninformed, uneducated, unwilling to acknowledge Aboriginal people generally and specifically to issues such as colonization, the numbered treaty process, residential schools and the 60’s scoop. What is more disturbing is witnessing appointed representatives of Senate communicate this level of ignorance such as what has been demonstrated by Sen. Beyuk. The senate is regarded as being the “sober-second thought” to the House of Commons. Very public uninformed opinions and naïveté serve not only to continue misunderstanding of Aboriginal issues; it further adds to abuses, stereotypes and oppressive minimization of past and present day realities. If Sen Beyuk is unable to at least serve as the sober second thought and properly educate herself perhaps she, in good conscience, should be compelled to resign her seat as a Senate member so as not to further blemish government and Aboriginal people.

    Christopher T. Bignell, Opaskwayak Cree Nation

  7. Oh my God. Will Saturday Night Live please take this woman on like they did Trump?! She is a parody unto herself! Lock her in a room with testimonial after testimonial by survivors and don’t let her out until some of the reality hits!!
    Although it may not because she seems unteachable and way, way out in lala land.

Comments are closed.