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Posted: June 3, 2015

Ktunaxa Nation hopeful new path can begin

Urges acceptance of Truth and Reconciliation Commission recommendations

Columbia Basin Institute of Regional History image of the St. Eugene Mission area.
Columbia Basin Institute of Regional History image of the St. Eugene Mission area.

The Ktunaxa Nation is hopeful that a report released this week can set out a new path of understanding, cooperation and healing between aboriginal and non-aboriginal Canadians.

In its summary report, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada outlined 94 recommendations ranging from mandatory education in public schools on residential schools to enacting federal legislation to revitalize and preserve aboriginal languages.

“The Ktunaxa Nation is supportive of the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and all the recommendations in its report,” said Kathryn Teneese, Ktunaxa Nation Council Chair.

Kathryn Teneese, Ktunaxa Nation Council Chair
Kathryn Teneese, Ktunaxa Nation Council Chair

“The impacts of the residential schools are still felt in every aboriginal community in Canada every day. This dark legacy cannot be relegated to the pages of history books or ignored. All Canadians must make the effort to hear the stories of those who survived the residential schools. Only through understanding where this pain and anguish comes from, can the reconciliation and healing journey begin,” she said.

“The Ktunaxa Nation has charted its own healing path and this is reflected in the work we do with our partners including schools, colleges, corporations and governments,” continued Teneese.

“The recommendations made by the Commission can support us on this path, but we need engagement from leadership at all levels of government across Canada and more importantly all Canadians, to ensure that these recommendations do not fall by the wayside. Reconciliation is not to forgive and forget but to remember so we do not repeat the mistakes of the past,” she concluded.

Ktunaxa Nation people, like other Canadian First Nations peoples, suffered under the residential school program, with one in their front yard – the St. Eugene Mission Residential School. For more click HERE.

For years the old Mission building was a terrible symbol that haunted the people of  ?aqam (St. Mary’s Band) and all First Nations people. However, with drive and courage the Ktunaxa Nation turned a past nightmare into an economic success in the form of the St. Eugene Mission Golf Resort and Casino, one of the premier tourism attractions in the East Kootenay.

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