Mr. Speaker, six years before the Conservative government apologized for residential schools and launched the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 2008, I wrote my undergrad thesis on the system's harms and the government's responsibility.
Last week, 215 lost children were found. There are more. That so many Canadians were shocked shows a long, painful road behind and still ahead. So many open hearts and minds give hope. History's importance is poignant and clear.
In Lakeland, Blue Quills Indian Residential School once helped break spirits, languages, faiths, traditions and families. Today, it is Canada's first indigenous-owned school for 50 years, and it offers degrees in first nations languages, job skills and intergenerational healing.
After visiting, one Albertan said, “My uncle...was sent to a residential school so I thought I understood. His time...was never spoken of, so I thought I understood. [My wife's uncle] taught at Blue Quills...so I thought I understood. Until I listened to the words and heard the stories, I did not know.”
Indigenous people deserve peace, safety, freedom and jobs. MPs should raise awareness and make real changes for their well-being and outcomes in their lives.