That's why aboriginal people in this province weren't included in the settlement of the class action lawsuit several years ago and why they were excluded from the apology that went with the settlement.
The recent settlement of a claim by aboriginal people in this province was an effort to make the lawsuit go away and in the process, the Government Canada:
- effectively absolved the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador of its legal and ethical obligation to all the people who attended residential schools under its exclusive jurisdiction and who suffered physical, sexual, and psychological abuse at the hands of individuals at the schools, and,
- ignored people who are not aboriginal who suffered abuse in schools in Newfoundland and Labrador. They will get nothing.
Now there's talk of an apology.
There should be one, but it should not be coming from Ottawa. The only apology that means anything at all should come from the government legally and ethically responsible for running or overseeing the residential schools involved.
And someone needs to extend compensation to the non-aboriginal people who suffered abuse as well.
To do anything else is to perpetuate an injustice while making amends for another.