Kuujjuaq, Nunavik June 2, 2015 The Makivik Corporation is pleased with the report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that has outlined 94 recommendations to end Canada’s ugly legacy in operating Aboriginal residential schools.
The report describes Canada’s past educational policy of aboriginal children as a “cultural genocide” and this is frightening. Many Inuit children from Nunavik attended residential schools in the region including Churchill, Manitoba more than 50 years ago and its horrible effects are evident today with high rates of suicides, school dropouts, unemployment and violence. Health officials and the Inuit population have known for years the residential school era was much to blame for the social misfunctions.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission has basically opened the flood gates and surfaced the problem that has illed Canada for centuries. Now is the time as the TRC says to go from ‘apology to action,’ with its recommendations to create new legislation such as on aboriginal education, language protection, health and justice.
In Nunavik we have started addressing many of those issues with our report called PARNASIMAUTIK, our vision of the future. It couldn’t have come out at a better time when Canada has been given the opportunity to revisit its relationship with its first people, the Inuit, First Nations and Metis.
Makivik commend the hard work of Justice Murray Sinclair, Dr Marie Wilson, and Chief Wilton Littlechild for coming to Kuujjuaq and
Inukjuaq in March 2011 to hear testimonies from former residential school survivors in Nunavik and the thousands of miles they covered to hear the truth of this sad legacy. Their dedication will surely contribute to a reconciliation of all Canadians.
“Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued an apology to former residential school students in 2008 and now we have been given the whole story and a blue print to recovery. Lets do it,” says Jobie Tukkiapik, President Makivik Corporation.
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Makivik is the development corporation mandated to manage the heritage funds of Inuit of Nunavik provided for in the James Bay and Northern Québec Agreement. Makivik’s role includes the administration and investment of these funds and the promotion of economic growth.