- Premier Justin Trudeau paid a visit to Kamloops on Monday as a guest of the Tk’emlps te Secwépemc.
- As he made his way through the crowd, Trudeau was met with mixed reactions as he was escorted by several members of his security detail.
On Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited Kamloops as a guest of the Tk’emlps te Secwépemc. They were commemorating the first anniversary of the discovery of 215 unmarked graves on the grounds of a former residential school.
As he arrived, Trudeau was met with varied reactions as he made his way past the crowd, backed by several members of his security detail.
Many well-wishers greeted the prime minister with open arms and requested photographs with him.
However, he was trailed by a raucous crowd of singers and drummers who sought to deliver their message.
“It’s all Indian land in Canada!” They sang while pounding their drums loudly. “The RCMP has no authority!”
“We don’t need your constitution!” sang the throng, which Trudeau generally disregarded.
However, in brief remarks from the stage, the prime minister addressed those singing protest songs about stolen Indigenous territory, reminding them that he understands their outrage while attempting to refocus the event on the missing children.
“I understand. This is about commemorating people who have passed away. “This is about coming together and reflecting on where we are and, more importantly, where we need to go as a group,” he explained.
CTV News questioned Trudeau at a news conference later that evening if he feels Canada is built on stolen Indigenous land, and he didn’t give a firm response.
“Canada is a country made up of Indigenous people who have lived here for millennia, who have welcomed newcomers in certain situations and have been overwhelmed by settlers in others,” he explained. “However, we are a country that exists today because of a resolve to always learn from the past and strive for improvement.”
Trudeau’s answer to the question lasted more than 90 seconds, but it was confusing, and it’s still unclear whether he feels the traditional territory that First Nations have held for thousands of years was stolen from them.
“There’s no doubt that we can travel back in time and witness horrific events… He continued, “The story of Canada is the story of people working together to construct a brighter future for themselves and their children than they could have dreamed a generation ago.”
Source: CTV News
Get Canada and Yukon’s top News, Market News, and other News of USA and worldwide only on yukonweekly.com