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Federal election candidate questions: Truth and Reconciliation Commission

In the days leading up to the federal election on October 19, we will be publishing the answers to questions posed by 2day FM to the candidates running in the Grande Prairie-Mackenzie riding. The responses are listed in alphabetical order and are unedited. They have not been fact checked and 2day FM is not responsible for any errors or inaccuracies.

Q: How does your party plan to handle the recommendations that came as a result of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission?

James Friesen, Green Party

A: The Green Party is fully committed to fully implementing all the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. We are the only party that has ingrained in our Parties constitution the United Nations policy on Indigenous Peoples. As we move forward we must work to ward full self Government for the Indigenous Peoples meeting and negotiating with them as equals.

Reagan Johnston, Liberal Party

The official platform of the Liberal Party includes a plan with respect to the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. “To support the work of reconciliation, and continue the necessary process of truth telling and healing, we will work alongside provinces and territories, and with First Nations, the Métis Nation, and Inuit, to enact the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, starting with the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples”.

Saba Mossagizi, NDP

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We want to implement the recommendations put forward by the Commission, this would include consultation from many groups.

Dylan Thompson, Libertarian Party

A: It’s apparent that self-determination, autonomy, and decentralized sovereignty are common between Libertarian and Aboriginal points of view. The Libertarian party’s platform on Aboriginal Affairs is to recognize the right of First Nations, Metis and Inuit peoples to meaningful autonomy and jurisdiction over their territories. This jurisdiction includes natural resources, mining rights, local economic affairs and community membership. We would, replace the Indian Act with a blanket guarantee of sovereignty for all indigenous groups, end all federal restrictions and obligations on indigenous territories and streamline the Land Claim process.

Chris Warkentin, Conservative Party

Our Government is committed to advancing reconciliation with Aboriginal people who suffered from the residential school system.

The completion of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission marks a significant milestone in the successful implementation of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement and in meeting the goal of moving towards healing, reconciliation and resolution of the sad legacy of the residential school system in Canada.

On June 11, 2008, Prime Minister Harper apologized on behalf of the Government of Canada, and all Canadians, for the forcible removal of Aboriginal children from their homes and communities to attend Indian residential schools. In this historic Apology, the Prime Minister recognized that there is no room in Canada for the attitudes that created the residential school system to prevail. The Apology affirmed Canada’s commitment to joining Aboriginal people on a journey of healing towards reconciliation. The Commission was mandated with the unique opportunity to educate all Canadians on the Indian residential schools and forge a new relationship between Aboriginal people and other Canadians.

While the Commission’s work has concluded, the work to heal the relationships between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canadians must continue. This renewed relationship requires sharing the truth. Compiled through the work of the Commission, the historical record of Indian residential schools was made possible by the thousands of individuals who courageously came forward to tell their stories and is an achievement of national significance. This profound and lasting record will help guide Canadians towards renewed relationships based on understanding and respect.

Reconciliation is a goal that will take the commitment of multiple generations and the Government of Canada understands the importance of transforming how it works with Aboriginal people and shifting attitudes and perceptions among all Canadians. Reconciliation is an active process that requires on-going engagement. The Government looks forward to continuing dialogue with all Canadians, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal alike, about advancing reconciliation.

Mr. Warkentin’s answer was shortened to meet the maximum word count.

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