Canada: Interview with Chief Wilton Littlechild
Interview with Chief Wilton Littlechild - Member of Canada's Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Photo courtesy of Neeta Lind
"We are still marginalized. The poverty for example of indigenous children is on the rise. The taking away of the child is still going on. We still fill the prisons, .... I went to an institution for young offenders and 100 percent of the inmates were indigneous youths and you can't tell me we are -all- that bad...but that's all linked to the trauma of the residential school legacy." - Chief Wilton Littlechild
In June 2008 Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued a public apology to Canada's 80,000 First Nation residential school survivors and expressed strong regret for the psychological trauma and social damage the schools had done to individuals and indigenous culture and heritage since 1840.
The institutions, which were specifically created to induce complete assimilation, were inadequately controlled and had given rise to significant physical and sexual abuse and neglect.
The public apology followed an approximately US $1.8 billion settlement (2006) between the federal government and former students. A Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission is currently holding hearings across the count