Canada's NDP

NDP

June 18th, 2021

LIBERALS BLOCK NDP EFFORTS TO HELP INDIGENOUS PEOPLES BRING THEIR CHILDREN HOME

MP Ashton proposed motion to support Indigenous Peoples searches of potential mass grave sites

THOMPSON –Today, NDP MP Niki Ashton (Churchill—Keewatinook Aski) proposed a motion calling on Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government to act decisively in support of First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities who want to bring their children home from mass graves at Residential School. MP Ashton’s motion calls on the government to establish an independent commission to provide oversight and support in the search for unmarked graves near residential schools. The motion failed after the Liberals engaged in the most cynical of political gamesmanship.

“The Trudeau government has once again failed Indigenous communities seeking the truth of the genocide committed against their children through the Residential School system. Trudeau had an opportunity to show leadership during this period of national mourning and he failed,” said MP Ashton. “This government has done nothing other than recycle 2019 budget promises that were barely spent, and Indigenous Peoples deserve better.”

The motion also calls for the government to bring in international experts like the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) to work with First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities to bring their children home. This follows up earlier calls from MP Ashton and Pimicikamak Cree Nation to bring in the ICMP to work with their community to help in searches of residential school grounds. The Liberals ignored this request.

“While the government says they want to work collaboratively with Indigenous Peoples, it's lip service,” said Ashton. “Pimicikamak Cree Nation sent an official request calling for exactly this, and the government responded with a form letter. Indigenous peoples want real action to bring their children home.”

The text of the motion is as follows:

That, in light of the uncovering of unmarked graves at residential schools, the House call on the government to establish an independent commission with the resources to establish standards, and provide oversight in the searches of records, in ground searches and investigations, in accordance with the wishes of communities as well as invite international experts, including the International Commission on Missing Persons, to work with First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities to bring their children home.