(There is a very important communication from Chief Kenny Blacksmith about the upcoming Forgiven Summit in Ottawa on June 11, 12, 13)
On June 11, 2008, Prime Minister Stephen Harper with the support of all the Party leaders, Members of Parliament stood up in the House of Commons and expressed a heartfelt apology to our people for the historic profound failures of the Government of Canada on our people as a result of a negative legacy of the Indian Residential School policy.
In the course of his timely apology, the Prime Minister asked for ‘forgiveness’ of our people for those historic wrongs. The onus was put upon our people to respond.
In doing so, our response will be an important key to our healing and freedom from a negative past. Recognizing and accepting full ownership of our healing will rest with us, and move us away from blaming all others for the wounds and hurts we have all experienced in the past.
Releasing forgiveness will lead us to a place where we can own the capacity to find our inner healing by ourselves and for ourselves. This is why forgiveness cannot be political or legislative – it is spiritual and it is only the individual who has faced such wounds and hurts will have to choose to forgive or not to forgive. No one can do this for them, they will have to act as individuals and make their own choice, once they have, they will have to accept the consequences of their choices.
The Prime Minister has opened a timely and significant door of hope and freedom for our people and for the nation of Canada.
On June 12, 2010, two years after the Prime Minister’s apology, and between 2:00 and 3:00 PM, a national coalition of up to 5,000 First Nations, Inuit, MÈtis individuals and Canadians will gather together at the Ottawa Civic Centre. At this time, we will choose with one voice and one heart to respond to the Prime Ministers’ request for forgiveness because we are not only ready to do so but we recognize the door of hope is still open and our response will be our key to a greater healing and freedom for our people and nation from a negative past.