Canada’s Trudeau apologizes for vacation on first Truth and Reconciliation Day

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau apologized after days of criticism for going on a family vacation during his country’s first Indigenous-focused National Day of Truth and Reconciliation.

Despite a formal invitation from its chief, Rosanne Casimir, Trudeau did not to visit the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation on Sept. 30, a decision he later called “a mistake,” according to The Washington Post.

Instead, Trudeau and his family vacationed in Tofino in British Columbia following the reelection of his Liberal minority government. 

The prime minister later called Casimir to apologize and said he intended to travel to Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc in the next few weeks.

“I think the ‘how it happened’ is far less important than that it happened, which I regret,” Trudeau said at a news conference Wednesday, according to the Post. 

He added that he would “do even more on the path of reconciliation” such as investing in resources for Indigenous children.

The Day of Truth and Reconciliation was intended to honor the Indigenous victims and survivors of the former residential school system in Canada after the remains of 215 indigenous children were recently discovered in unmarked graves in British Columbia. Hundreds of other unmarked graves were later found.

The family’s vacation spot was in same province as Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc.

At the time, Trudeau said in a tweet that he “spent some time on the phone today with residential school survivors from across the country.”

Trudeau had attended a ceremony surrounding the Day of Truth and Reconciliation the night before, the Post noted.

Tags Canada Canadian Indian residential school gravesites Cultural genocide Justin Trudeau

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