In the House of Commons, Prime Minister Stephen Harper delivers the government’s official apology for abuses suffered by former students of the Canadian residential school system, June 11, 2008.
Following Mr. Harper’s apology, federal party leaders present statements of apology, including Stéphane Dion (Liberal), Gilles Duceppe (Bloc Québécois), and Jack Layton (New Democratic Party).
Afterwards, leaders and representatives from Aboriginal communities present speeches, including Phil Fontaine (the national chief of the Assembly of First Nations), Patrick Brazeau (the national chief of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples), Mary Simon (the president of the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami), Clément Chartier (the president of the Métis National Council), and Beverley Jacobs (the president of the Native Women’s Association of Canada).
Later, Indian Affairs Minister Chuck Strahl addresses the House before signing the official statements of apology with Prime Minister Harper.
Mr. Harper and Mr. Strahl then present awards to various leaders and representatives from Aboriginal communities, including survivors of the residential school system.
The ceremony concludes with performances by members of the First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities.