What has been done in the past cannot be undone anymore. In the article, “Prime Minister Harper offers full apology on behalf of Canadians for the Indian Residential Schools system,” (2008) Steven Harper delivers an apology to the First Nations. The Prime Minister apologized for separating aboriginal children from their homes and traditions, providing inadequate supplies, and failing in giving protections. Despite the fact that the Canadians had caused an unbearable amount of damage to the First Nations, I believe this apology is more than enough.
From an educational cartoon, I learned that there are three sorry’s that must be done when someone did something wrong: feeling sorry, saying sorry, and showing that you’re sorry. The Prime Minister has completed all three tasks in his apology. First of all, the government realized what they have done to the Aboriginal in the past was inhumane and thus feels sorry. Then Prime Minister Harper apologizes to the First Nations on behalf of all Canadians in the public broadcast and say sorry. Lastly, he does some actions to show that the government was sorry.
In the article, Harper mentioned that “[there] is no place in Canada for the attitudes that inspired the Indian Residential Schools system to ever prevail again.” (Para 9) This implies that the Canadian government will not have the attempt to assimilate them. He also briefly outlined how the Indian Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Communication is going to improve the relationship between the Natives and Canada. According to “The Vancouver Sun,” (“The Apology Decoded”, 2008) the Anglican Church offered an apology for its role in 1993. The UnitedChurch apologized in 1998 and the federal Liberals established a $350-million healing fund in the same year. Harper’s apology is way more than just words.
Many people argued that the actions from the government were not enough; however I personally believe the government should give no extra support for the First Nations. To start off, when we are talking about multiculturalism, it means every citizen in Canada should possess the same authority and benefits to reach equality. If the Aboriginal peoples get extra supports, would it be fair to the other Canadians? What about the other minority groups such as Asian immigrants? Chinese used to pay head tax and be treated badly as well.
Furthermore, not every one of the First Nation people will use their benefits properly. No matter how much support the government gives them, it will never be enough. They would see the government’s fund as a must. Instead of working hard to get what they want, relying on the government and people’s tax would be their main income. In the end, the purpose of bandages would only be used to cover the recovered scar instead of really healing the wound.
The apology from the Prime Minister is more than sufficient. The apology has already done more than expressing sorry. Extra benefits for the Aboriginals will only bring up more inequality issues. Instead of thinking how to fix the past, future is more important. History is just a reference. Now the government is willing to accept who they are, First Nations should be satisfied and live equally as the other citizens.
Harper, S. (2008, June 11). Prime Minister Harper offers full apology on behalf of Canadians for the Indian Residential Schools system. Retrieved from http://pm.gc.ca/eng/media.asp?id=2149
The Apology Decoded; Excerpts from Stephen Harper’s official apology for the native residential school system and what it means. (2008, June 12). The Vancouver Sun. p. B.3