Canada Apologizes to Indigenous Groups

Ottawa admits abuse of native cultures
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 12, 2008 4:42 AM CDT
Eldest surviving residential school victim Wabano Marguerite shakes hands with MP Joe Comuzzi following Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's official apology.    (AP Photo/Pool, The Canadian Press, Chris Wattie)
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(Newser) – Canada formally apologized to its indigenous peoples yesterday for forcing children to attend government-run schools where they were often sexually and physically abused. Prime Minister Stephen Harper read the apology in Parliament, calling the forced assimilation a "sad chapter" in the nation's history that damaged several generations, the Globe and Mail reports. "I am sorry Canada tried to erase your identity and your culture."

“In separating children from their families, we undermined the ability of many to parent their own children and sowed the seeds for generations to follow, and we apologize for having done this," the prime minister said. "These institutions gave rise to abuse or neglect and were inadequately controlled, and we apologize for failing to protect you."