Statement from Premier McLeod on the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission

Jun 3 2015

YELLOWKNIFE (June 3, 2015)  – Northwest Territories Premier Bob McLeod offered the following statement on the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission today:

“The Government of the Northwest Territories wishes to thank the Commissioners of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada and acknowledge the courageous contributions from all who participated in their important work, including the many residential school survivors and their families. 

“The work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission will help individuals, families and communities damaged by the experience of residential schools heal and is an important step towards the reconciliation needed to fulfill Canada’s potential.

“It is hoped that the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission will spur  action from all Canadians and provide the foundation for further efforts towards reconciliation.

“The Government of the Northwest Territories has already taken steps to strengthen relationships with Aboriginal peoples, help restore and heal Aboriginal communities, and ensure that Aboriginal cultures and traditions are recognized and valued.

“The Northwest Territories recognizes nine Aboriginal languages, alongside English and French, as official languages of our territory.  The NWT, in collaboration with Nunavut, has developed and implemented mandatory curriculum, to ensure that all students in the NWT learn the history and effects of residential schools.  The NWT also shares 25% of the resource revenues it receives from public lands in the NWT with Aboriginal governments in our territory that are signatories to the devolution agreement.

“Of course, more work needs to be done to meet the objectives identified by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to achieve reconciliation and healing. The Government of the Northwest Territories will work to see reconciliation efforts continue, and is committed to ensuring that the work of the commission is properly considered and acted upon. 

“The Government of the Northwest Territories will undertake a detailed review of the comprehensive recommendations provided today by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and looks forward to working with Aboriginal residents and all residents of the NWT to help achieve the reconciliation identified by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.”