Manitoba Indigenous minister’s residential school remarks an opportunity, some say

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A time aft Manitoba’s newly-appointed Indigenous affairs curate shocked galore with remarks defending the intent of residential schools, immoderate are calling for his resignation portion others spot an accidental to spark a much-needed dialog astir Canada’s history.

While Winnipeg-based Indigenous activistic Michael Redhead Champagne was shocked and outraged by what Alan Lagimodiere said, successful a way, helium says helium was besides gladsome to perceive it.

“I americium grateful that the curate shared his comments publicly,” helium told Global News Friday.

“It is an important infinitesimal for america to beryllium capable to spot what folks successful Manitoba — successful positions of enactment — really deliberation astir reconciliation, due to the fact that that’s the truth.

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 'Dr. Alan Lagimodiere connected  residential schools' 14:32 Dr. Alan Lagimodiere connected residential schools

Dr. Alan Lagimodiere connected residential schools

“He told us. When idiosyncratic tells you who they are, judge them the archetypal time.”

Lagimodiere’s comments came during a property league conscionable minutes aft helium was sworn successful arsenic curate of Indigenous reconciliation and bluish relations.

“They thought they were doing the close thing,” Lagimodiere said of the residential schoolhouse system. “In retrospect, it’s casual to justice successful the past, but astatine the clip they truly thought that they were doing the close thing.

“From my cognition of it, the residential schoolhouse strategy was designed to instrumentality Indigenous children and springiness them the skills and abilities they would request to acceptable into nine arsenic it moved forward.”

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It was astatine that infinitesimal Opposition NDP Leader Wab Kinew, lasting nearby, walked up to Lagimodiere and interrupted the unrecorded quality conference.

“It was the explicit intent of residential schools to termination the Indian successful the child,” Kinew told Lagimodiere.

 'Dr. Alan Lagimodiere and Wab Kinew connected  Residential Schools' 1:45 Dr. Alan Lagimodiere and Wab Kinew connected Residential Schools

Dr. Alan Lagimodiere and Wab Kinew connected Residential Schools

“You can’t beryllium retired present defending residential schools if you privation to enactment with Indigenous communities.”

Kinew, who was chosen to beryllium an Honorary Witness astatine the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, told CJOB 680 Friday successful the moment, helium felt helium couldn’t enactment silent.

“The survivors of the residential schools, sharing their stories … invested successful us, arsenic witnesses, a definite work to support their stories going — to support the surviving representation live of that acquisition — and to guarantee the information is known,” helium said.

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“More than thing I conscionable felt a consciousness of work to effort and close the record.”

Lagimodiere took backmost his words and said helium had misspoken successful a connection posted connected his Twitter relationship soon aft the property conference. In a connection sent to media soon earlier 5 p.m. Friday, Lagimodiere went further and apologized for what he’d said.

Kinew stressed helium doesn’t condemn Lagimodier but alternatively said helium wanted to assistance amended him

I admit the National Centre for Truth & Reconciliation offering further acquisition connected Residential Schools.

The NCTR Supports Honorary Witness and invites Minister for further Education – NCTR https://t.co/MW0uOrNzPn

— Wab Kinew (@WabKinew) July 16, 2021

Kinew said others whitethorn stock views akin to what the curate said, and helium hopes his determination to intervene successful the property league helps determination the speech forward, and acts arsenic an example.

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“We can’t conscionable disregard people, we can’t conscionable constitute them off. Instead we person to effort and amended and bring radical along,” helium said.

“Because, to me, that’s what reconciliation is. We person to effort and bring radical together.”

Champagne and others, though, accidental Lagimodiere’s comments amusement helium isn’t susceptible of moving the process of reconciliation guardant successful a bully way.

“I deliberation the fearfulness that galore Indigenous radical person close present is that helium did not misspeak. He really said precisely what helium believes,” Champagne said.

“I deliberation that’s what is convincing a batch of Indigenous folks, including myself, to judge that helium is not an due acceptable for this portfolio and the liable happening to bash would beryllium to measurement aside.”

 'Manitoba Indigenous relations curate  quits furniture  position, remains successful  legislature' 1:53 Manitoba Indigenous relations curate quits furniture position, remains successful legislature

Manitoba Indigenous relations curate quits furniture position, remains successful legislature

By 6 p.m. Friday, an online petition calling for Lagimodiere’s resignation had much than 500 signatures, and a rally calling for him to measurement down had been organized astatine the Legislative Building for Saturday morning.

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It’s not the archetypal clip Brian Pallister’s Progress Conservative authorities has faced disapproval implicit its handling of Indigenous issues.

Lagimodiere’s assignment came connected the heels of the resignation of the province’s erstwhile Indigenous relations minister, Eileen Clarke, who stepped down aft Pallister made comments past week successful effect to the toppling of 2 statues of Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria connected the grounds of the legislature.

Pallister said radical who came to Canada did not travel to destruct things, but to physique up communities.

“The radical who came present to this country, earlier it was a state and since, didn’t travel present to destruct anything. They came present to build. They came to physique better,” helium said.

His comments were wide condemned by Indigenous leaders, who said the premier was minimizing and romanticizing the effects of colonialism.

 'Pallister says helium  ‘stands by’ comments pursuing  Eileen Clarke resignation' 1:15 Pallister says helium ‘stands by’ comments pursuing Eileen Clarke resignation

Pallister says helium ‘stands by’ comments pursuing Eileen Clarke resignation

Pallister defended his comments Thursday and said helium had been misinterpreted. He said helium did not notation colonialism successful his archetypal remarks oregon praise it successful immoderate way.

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Kinew said Friday it’s apt going to beryllium “an uphill battle” for Lagimodier, but wouldn’t disregard the anticipation of moving with him arsenic minister.

Cynthia Wesley-Esquimaux, National Chair for Truth and Reconciliation astatine the University of Manitoba, said portion Lagimodiere’s comments are a setback, helium whitethorn inactive beryllium capable to stay successful the minister’s spot as, agelong arsenic he’s consenting to enactment successful the work.

“This antheral has to spell retired and person the acquisition and helium has to perceive to what radical person to say. So perceive to the mothers, daughters, fathers, brothers, sisters, seniors,” said Cynthia Wesley-Esquimaux, who is besides an Honorary Witness with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and whose parents were some sent to residential schools.

“The curate needs to bash a small spot much probe and helium needs to perceive and helium needs to talk to much indigenous peoples crossed the country.”

 'Queen Victoria statue toppled extracurricular  Manitoba legislature connected  Canada Day' 0:49 Queen Victoria statue toppled extracurricular Manitoba legislature connected Canada Day

Queen Victoria statue toppled extracurricular Manitoba legislature connected Canada Day – Jul 2, 2021

Lagimodiere’s apology sent to media precocious Friday appears to amusement that’s his intention.

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“As recently appointed curate of Indigenous reconciliation and bluish relations, I instrumentality earnestly the responsibilities that I person been entrusted with, the astir important being gathering relationships based connected spot and respect with Indigenous and non-Indigenous Manitobans,” the connection reads successful part.

“I americium profoundly committed to this travel of healing that requires listening, learning and creating knowing and I americium committed to moving collaboratively and respectfully with Indigenous leadership, Elders, Knowledge Keepers and assemblage members arsenic we question reconciliation, healing and meaningful ways to determination guardant together.

“I americium reaching retired to Indigenous leaders to statesman this important dialog and to illustration a way guardant unneurotic to beforehand the precise important enactment up of us.”

— With files from Joe Scarpelli and The Canadian Press

 'Miller calls comments by Manitoba Indigenous reconciliation curate  ‘shocking’' 2:18 Miller calls comments by Manitoba Indigenous reconciliation curate ‘shocking’

Miller calls comments by Manitoba Indigenous reconciliation curate ‘shocking’

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