OTTAWA — Residential school survivors are criticizing the federal government’s planning for today’s event marking the 10-year anniversary of Canada’s apology in the House of Commons.
Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett gave a speech honouring survivors to mark 10 years since the government apologized for residential schools, but she was quickly overshadowed by survivors who felt compelled to share their experiences.
Survivors Peter Sackaney and his sister Vivian Timmins took the stage just before elders were expected to deliver a closing prayer.
Sackaney says when honouring survivors, they should be given the platform to share their stories.
Timmins took aim at the event itself, saying she only learned about it on Friday — and that other survivors are likely to feel excluded.
The pair later told The Canadian Press they feel Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also should have been present.
Bennett attended a healing ceremony before delivering her remarks and helped unveil a new art exhibit that pays tribute to survivors.
The Canadian Press