Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you, lady and gentlemen. As I forward, I will ask my questions in French.
A couple of years ago, I was still working in a museum in Montreal, Pointe-à-Callière. There was a group of half a dozen First Nations’ people — I believe they were all Iroquois — who came from both Canada and the United States. There was also somebody there representing, let us say, the English, but no one represented the French. I am just giving you a broad description.
These people went from one place to another in Montreal and were looking for sites where various events had happened. I should say that it was a religious group. Their goal was to confront past problems in order to heal. These were healing ceremonies. When they got to the museum, they came as tourists. But then they found out that the museum encompassed a cemetery where French as well as First Nations’ people were buried, whose remains date back to the foundation of Montreal. A dozen First Nations’ people who were catholic are buried there. They started with their ceremony and they called on me as a representative of the French. It was very touching. I was literally crying. However, I already knew the situation. I knew there were problems in the past and that there is a need for healing. However, this is not a knowledge that most people have.
Mr. Dinsdale, you talked earlier about cooperating and working together in order to turn the corner. I believe this is essential, not only for First Nations, but also for the descendants of the Europeans. I know this has already been mentioned, including by Mr. Young. In my view, there are very important projects and legacies. These are not only physical legacies — which are important for the 150th anniversary —, but also social legacies or rather psychological legacies. I already mentioned aspects such as social housing in general. This would be an important legacy of the 150th anniversary. This is what we are looking at in today’s discussion. You said it was difficult for First Nations to tackle certain issues, such as clean water.
However, I have another example. There is a project called Wapikoni mobile. I don't know if you are aware of it. It has been cancelled. It was a grass roots project that tried to establish a foundation for First Nations youth to get back to work, to have a foundation not only to get back into a job, but also to survive. Do you believe this type of program should be put into place and could help the healing and promote cooperation between First Nations and other nations?