Without the weight of action reconciliation is just an idea: Hughes

Ottawa – Reconciliation for victims of Residential Schools will require a different approach than has been attempted by any government so far, according to Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing, MP Carol Hughes.

Hughes peppered the government with questions and statements this week as the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) came to a ceremonial end.  Among the list of recommendations were many items that New Democrats have been demanding the government act on.

“Too many children are suffering, from chronic underfunding in education, from a lack of access to quality health care, from a lack of access to safe drinking water, and from a lack of access to housing,” said Hughes. “In 2015, it is high time to end this cycle of poverty, starting today.”

Hughes said the government needs to close the gap for access to health care that stands in the way of recovery for many residential school survivors.

“The survivors still suffer the effects of a stolen childhood,” said Hughes. “They suffer from health problems that also affect their families. They need help and support.”

The TRC recommendations come shortly after an Auditor General’s report found health care services on many remote and northern First Nations sub-standard. 

“Today, survivors face social, psychological, and health barriers to overcoming the trauma,” said Hughes. “Yet too many first nation communities do not have access to quality health care.”

Hughes found it incredible the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs would make a point of sitting down as the room erupted into a standing ovation over Justice Sinclair’s recommendation for an inquiry into murdered and missing Aboriginal women.

”Without justice for these women and their families there can be no reconciliation,” said Hughes. “Will the Minister do the right thing and commit to immediately launch a National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women?”