The Honourable John Duncan, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development announced that the Government of Canada will commemorate the legacy of Indian Residential Schools through a permanent installation of stained glass artwork in Centre Block on Parliament Hill.
Good morning ladies and gentlemen. Merci d’être ici aujourd’hui. On June 11, 2008 all members of the House of Commons came together as Prime Minister Stephen Harper apologized on behalf of Canadians to former students of Indian residential schools, all aboriginal people for this sad chapter in Canadian history.
The Prime Minister acknowledged the abuse experienced by many who attended Indian residential schools and the impact this system had on aboriginal people. This apology led to the creation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Cette semaine aura lieu à Halifax le troisième évènement national. This week the Commission is holding its third national event in Halifax.
I will be participating this Saturday in Halifax at the Expression of Reconciliation. Through its ongoing engagement with both aboriginal and non-aboriginal people in groups across Canada, the Commission is allowing us to move forward together in the spirit of reconciliation.
To further build upon the journey towards reconciliation I am honoured today to announce that our government will commemorate the legacy of Indian residential schools through a permanent installation of a stained glass art work right here in Centre Block on Parliament Hill. I’m looking at the window right there, that centre panel. This artwork will be installed permanently in the external window at the House of Commons entry to the Canadian Parliament, La fenêtre du centre.
We will commission a panel of art experts that will choose an aboriginal artist to design the window. I would also like to take the opportunity to recognize the collaboration and assistance of the Speaker and the House of Commons curator to make this a reality. The art work will honour the First Nation, Inuit and Metis children who attended Indian residential schools and the families and the communities who were impacted by its legacy.
A permanent commemoration of the legacy of Indian residential schools will encourage all Parliamentarians and visitors for generations to come to learn about the history of the Indian residential schools and Canada’s reconciliation efforts. C’est un geste de réconciliation important.
As we are all aware the history of residential schools tells of an education policy gone wrong. Going forward our government will continue to work with all willing partners to strengthen education outcomes, support career and skills development and support student success.
Our government is committed to working in partnership with First Nations, Inuit, Métis and all parties as we move forward in the spirit of reconciliation. Thank you. Merci beaucoup de votre présence.