Quebec premier acknowledges cultural genocide of Canada’s aboriginals

Quebec’s premier agrees with the assessment of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that Canada’s aboriginals were victims of a cultural genocide.

Philippe Couillard says the residential schools regime could “certainly” be described as a cultural genocide of the First Nations.

Couillard shares the view of the commission which this week described cultural genocide as the destruction of structures and practices that allow the country’s aboriginals to continue as a group.

While refusing to criticize the attitude of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who has avoided using the two words, Couillard says he is hoping for greater awareness in Canada about the aboriginal question.

Couillard also said in Quebec City today he would like the history of First Nations and their contribution to the building of Canada to be taught in Quebec schools.

The commission’s report made 94 broad recommendations — everything from greater police independence and reducing the number of aboriginal children in foster care to restrictions on the use of conditional and mandatory minimum sentences.

The Canadian Press