Yesterday, 30 May, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne apologized for the treatment meted out to First Nations children in the province’s residential schools and for the racism that underpinned the schools system.
The apology felt anti-climactic following last year’s release of the report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission but it should be welcomed as a sign that follow-up to the report continues.
However, as is stressed in this conversation between CBC Radio Toronto’s Matt Galloway and broadcaster Jesse Wente, apologies are only a tiny first step. As Wente puts it: “Sorry’s great,” but “so much is broken.”
Galloway notes one example: a scientific report also released yesterday that notes it will be possible to clean up mercury contamination near Grassy Narrows First Nation in northern Ontario – 60 years after it occurred!