Statement from Indigenous Reconciliation and Norther Relations Minister Dr. Alan Lagimodiere

July 16, 2021

Today, I would like to offer my sincerest apologies to all Indigenous and non-Indigenous Manitobans, and Canadians whom I have offended greatly with my remarks yesterday.

I want to acknowledge the words I used to respond to a question about residential schools, during my first scrum as a new minister in this very important portfolio, were wrong, and I genuinely and sincerely ask for your forgiveness.

As Canadians collectively mourn, we need to come to together to acknowledge and address the terrible and tragic legacy of residential schools. I want to acknowledge our country’s hard truths, especially in light of the tragedies of residential schools that continues to be deeply felt here in Manitoba and out of a commitment to advancing the TRC Calls to Action.

These tragedies are a reminder that we have a collective responsibility to listen and learn. It is our duty to create understanding and move forward together, to support the necessary process of truth telling and healing, and to work towards a better future, in the spirit of reconciliation. We must right the wrongs of the past.

As newly appointed minister of Indigenous reconciliation and northern relations, I take seriously the responsibilities that I have been entrusted with, the most important being building relationships based on trust and respect with Indigenous and non-Indigenous Manitobans.

I am deeply committed to this journey of healing that requires listening, learning and creating understanding and I am committed to working collaboratively and respectfully with Indigenous leadership, Elders, Knowledge Keepers and community members as we seek reconciliation, healing and meaningful ways to move forward together.

I am reaching out to Indigenous leaders to begin this important dialogue and to chart a path forward together to advance the very important work ahead of us. I hope we can work together in the spirit of friendship and co-operation to advance reconciliation and create a safer, healthier and more prosperous future for all Manitobans.

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