MGEU releases statement on provincial government leaders’ recent comments about Residential Schools
Jul 16, 2021Statement from MGEU President, Michelle Gawronsky:
Yesterday we saw the Pallister government introduce the new Minister of Indigenous Reconciliation and Northern Relations.
While speaking for the first time in his new role, the Minister said that those in the residential school system believed “they were doing the right thing" and that he believed “the residential school system was designed to take Indigenous children and give them the kind of skills and abilities they would need to fit into society as it moves forward."
The comments made by the new Minister are unacceptable and are historically untruthful. The historical fact is that the Residential School System was purposely created to remove and isolate children from their families, communities, traditions, and cultures in order to assimilate them.
The disclosure of more than 1,600 graves of children at residential schools in Canada has brought the truth of what happened in these schools to the forefront and has had a profound impact on Indigenous people and all Canadians.
The MGEU strongly believes in truth and reconciliation and we believe the elected leaders of our province cannot continue to distort the truth about residential schools.
We, as Manitobans, must have difficult conversations with each other about our country, not close our minds and our hearts. We must all recognize what happened at residential schools, not defend them. We must all do this – and it is essential that our provincial leaders, in particular, do this – because we cannot have meaningful reconciliation without first recognizing the truth of what has happened in our country.
Residential Schools Survivors and Family Crisis Line: 1-866-925-4419
The Indian Residential Schools
Crisis Line is available 24-hours a day for anyone experiencing pain or
distress as a result of their Residential School experience.