Prime Minister announces permanent working group with Indigenous leaders, cash to preserve residential school history

Prime Minister announces permanent forum for Indigenous leaders.

APTN National News
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he has created a permanent working group with First Nation, Inuit and Metis leaders that will meet annually.
The leaders, and Trudeau, will meet to discuss policies and progress.
Trudeau called it the first of several steps his government is taking to reconciliation.
“First, we will create permanent bilateral mechanisms with the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) and First Nations, the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and the four Inuit Nunangat Regions, and the Métis National Council and its governing members,” said Trudeau in a statement.
He said similar meetings with Cabinet ministers will take place at least twice each year.
Second, the government will establish an interim board of directors to develop a National Council for Reconciliation.
“The Interim Board will begin an engagement process to develop recommendations on the scope and mandate of the National Council,” he said.
Indigenous Affairs Parliamentary Secretary Yvonne Jones told APTN’s Nation to Nation that the interim board will include the three TRC Commissioners – Senator Murray Sinclair, Marie Wilson and Chief Wilton Littlechild – to “ensure continuity.”
And third, the federal government will provide $10 million in funding to support the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation located at the University of Manitoba.
“These announcements build on progress we have made together over the past year. Work is underway on 41 of the Calls to Action outlined in the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that fall under federal or shared purview,” said Trudeau.
“While much more remains to be done, I believe that we are making real progress towards renewing our relationship with Indigenous Peoples.”
The announcements come a year after the Truth and Reconciliation Commission released its final report on residential schools.
“We are thrilled with the Prime Minister’s announcement today. It is heartening that government not only recognizes the importance of the work the Centre is doing, but has also committed to answering the call to set up a reconciliation council,” said Ry Moran, Director of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR) at the University of Manitoba. “The council is a vital component of the reconciliation framework moving forward.”
Manitoba Metis Federal President David Chartrand was at the meeting and said afterward he applauded Trudeau for trying to make a change after decades of inaction, particularly the 10 years under former prime minister Stephen Harper.
“Imagine for a second, being locked out of your home for 10 years and we’re finally let in,” said Chartrand. “We actually do have a prime minister that cares.”
He said Trudeau is trying to make up for lost time, but added is important to understand that change can’t happen overnight.
AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde said it’s good the government is trying to act on the recommendations of the TRC and not just let them “collect dust.”
“The permanent access to the prime minister and ministers is key,” said Bellegarde.
The announcement comes less than a week after Trudeau dismissed calls from Bellegarde to open up the Constitution to settle the rights Indigenous people hold in the federation.

2 thoughts on “Prime Minister announces permanent working group with Indigenous leaders, cash to preserve residential school history

  1. As far as making much progress,how long have we been doing this?,Since Sir J.A. MacDonald ? and still as J.T. says it’s 2016 and still working on it,how many previous Govs. talked and still talking on F.N. I.M.O. Reserves make no sense, to live and breed in the wilderness is contrary to nature;s law, called social life,Culture living in an isolated area is not healthy for today’s children. They need contact with the world.Canada has let them down.

  2. OOOPS J.T. forgot to mention all these leaders will congregate in a warmer climate sometime between Dec and Mar,possibly in Turks or undisclosed area.

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