Ottawa – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has publicly apologized taking family leave To Tofino on the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
Speaking on Wednesday, Trudeau said he regretted the decision to travel on September 30.
“It was a mistake to travel that day. This is an important moment for Canada and the Canadian people to reflect not only on the past but also on the present. It was my fault in electing to travel that day, and I apologized directly to Chief (Rosanne) Casimir for not attending the event to which he had invited me,” he said.
— Cormac Mac Sweeney (@cmaconthehill) October 6, 2021
After two invitations from the First Nation went unanswered, the Prime Minister apologized directly to the head of Tkemloops Te Sekwepem in Kamloops.
Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc had asked Trudeau to join the residential school survivors and their families on 30 September, but had not heard back.
“I want to thank Casimir, Chief of Tk’emlúps, for the conversations that took place over the weekend,” he said. “I look forward to visiting the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc community in the coming weeks.”
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He says there’s still a lot of work to do and he’s “committed to doing it.”
Trudeau’s initial public travel schedule showed that he was in “private meetings” on the first National Day of Truth and Reconciliation. which was later updated to reflect his actual location.
Reports of Trudeau’s visit coinciding with the historic day drew widespread backlash from Indigenous leaders and communities, who felt it was disrespectful for the prime minister not to attend events to honor those who were once from residential schools. had not returned.