Premier Kathleen Wynne apologized today on behalf of the Government of Ontario for the brutalities committed for generations at residential schools and the continued harm this abuse has caused to Indigenous cultures, communities, families and individuals.
The Premier made her Statement of Ontario's Commitment to Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples in the Legislative Assembly, with residential school survivors and First Nation, Métis and Inuit leaders in attendance. She apologized for the policies and practices supported by past Ontario governments, and the harm they caused; for the province's silence in the face of abuse and death at residential schools; and for residential schools being only one example of systemic intergenerational abuses and injustices inflicted upon Indigenous communities throughout Canada.
In recognition of this historic event and Ontario's nation-to-nation relationship with Indigenous Peoples, the Legislature voted unanimously to open the floor to speeches from Opposition party leaders, Indigenous leaders -- and from Andrew Wesley, a residential school survivor who attended St. Anne's Indian Residential School in Fort Albany in his youth.
The Premier's apology is part of the government's response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada's Final Report, released one year ago. Ontario is taking action to acknowledge one of the most shameful chapters in Canadian history and teach a new generation the truth about our shared history. The province released an action plan today -- developed working closely with Indigenous partners -- that will help Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples move forward in a spirit of reconciliation.
The Journey Together: Ontario's Commitment to Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples plans to invest more than $250 million over three years in new initiatives in five areas:
These commitments are just some of many steps on Ontario's journey of healing and reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples. They reflect the government's commitment to work with Indigenous partners to build a better future for everyone in the province.