Prime Minister Justin Trudeau continues to face criticism and calls for a public apology after he was found vacationing in Tofino, B.C., on Canada first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
"As I stated to the Catholic church, hollow apologies will no longer be accepted," a statement dated Oct. 3 from National Chief RoseAnne Archibald, Assembly of First Nations, reads. "As National Chief, on behalf of all First Nations, I expect concrete action and changed behaviours."
"The prime minister must demonstrate through actions that he is committed to the healing path forward. Let's remember that Truth and Reconciliation is about Survivors and those children who died in the institutions of assimilation and genocide. Therefore, I ask media outlets to give as much time to Survivors' stories as they are giving to the prime minister's behaviour on September 30."
The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) also released a statement condemning Trudeau's actions, particularly after his government stressed the importance of its relationship with Indigenous people.
Those words ring incredibly hollow when Mr. Trudeau could not take the time that his own government set aside to reflect upon the tragedy of the Indian residential schools and instead chose to flit off to Tofino for a holiday.Statement from Lynne Groulx, CEO of NWAC
“The government of Canada has received two separate reports, including that of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, that say a genocide has been perpetrated against the Indigenous people of this country. Yet Mr. Trudeau does not believe those findings are so significant enough that he should take the time to reflect upon their meaning,”
According to The Canadian Press, Trudeau offered a private apology to the chief of the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Nation after not accepting the invitation to spend National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in the community where more than 200 unmarked graves were discovered.
Several Canadians continue to criticize the prime minister on social media after his actions of Sept. 30.
Today, of all days. You must know how this hurts.
You must understand the Country needed it’s Prime Minister to show up today.
Please apologize to the millions of Canadians who actually did the hard work of remembering, listening & learning today.
— Blake Desjarlais (@DesjarlaisBlake) October 1, 2021
I am sad he chose to holiday instead of attending an event in person. What is his actions saying to all Canadians? Yes, he talked to survivors but come on! @JustinTrudeau I am disappointed in you.
— nadine mcspadden (@NadineMcSpadden) October 4, 2021
We need a new Prime Minister. The one we have is an embarrassment. Thursday wasn't a holiday for me, it was an eye opener and it made me reflect on our past like I haven't done before.
— Gray Rothnie (@GRothnie) October 4, 2021
That sentiment echoed sharp criticism from other quarters, including Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs Grand Chief Stewart Phillip who said Trudeau had "turned his back on Indigenous children."
Why do Canadians continue to vote for Trudeau? This is on you. https://t.co/n2blz8qIPU
— Rejeanne Caron (@rejeanne_caron) October 3, 2021
As much as I question the Prime Minister 's decision , I also question why the media has relentlessly reported his actions for 4 solid days instead of the 1000's of stories of residential school survivors and communities trying to listen and learn. #TruthAndReconciliation
— Kathleen Carey (@k22747414) October 4, 2021