Premier Andrew Furey is currently on a tour of Labrador, where he is issuing a series of apologies to survivors of residential schools in Nunatsiavut. The Premier is scheduled to visit Makkovik and Hopedale today, followed by Nain and Happy Valley-Goose Bay tomorrow.
Furey is fulfilling a promise made by his predecessor, Dwight Ball, who pledged to apologize on behalf of the Newfoundland and Labrador government for the damages inflicted by the residential school system.
In Postville yesterday, Furey commended the students who sought redress through the courts, a pursuit which ultimately concluded with a court-approved financial compensation package. Those students who did not live to see that process to the end will not be forgotten, said the Premier.
He said it is with a heavy heart that he offers an apology to Inuit students of residential schools on behalf of the people of Newfoundland and Labrador.
In accepting the apology, Elder Roy Pilgrim noted that the system disregarded their culture, traditions and language.
People were beaten for speaking the native language, said Pilgrim. “It will be difficult to recover our language, culture and traditions that we would have naturally learned from our families over the years, but we will make our best efforts to do so.”