Premier Kathleen Wynne has formally apologized on behalf of the provincial government for the brutalities suffered at residential schools.
The apology was in response to the results of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 2015 which found that First Nations, Metis, and Inuit children were physically and sexually abused and died in numbers that would not have been tolerated in any school system.
“As Premier, I apologize for the policies and practices supported by the past Ontario governments and for the harm that they caused,” Wynne said Monday.
“Echoes of their racist, colonial attitudes can still be heard. The echoes of a society-wide intergenerational effort of cultural genocide continues to reverberate loudly and painfully in the lives of indigenous people today.”
Residential schools set out to “take the Indian out of the child”, removing children from homes and systematically stripping them of their languages, cultures, laws, and rights.
Ontario will also spend $250-million over three years to help understand the legacy of residential schools and to create “a culturally relevant and responsible” justice system.