Reconciliation will only begin when we Inuit will be able to tell our stories in Inuktitut language to the Truth and Reconciliation commissioners who can understand and speak Inuktitut and appreciate our experiences.
The problem I see with the current makeup of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission is that they are into something they don't have the slightest idea about, particularly about Inuit experiences. None of them have any idea when about the time that I was being taken away from our summer outpost camp at Tinujjivik. They don't have the slightest imagination of how we lived in a tent, with our husky dogs around us and how peaceful it was.
Just like I said to the Adjudicator's Training Session in Calgary, "I might as well have been kidnapped in broad daylight, right in front of my parents, my sister and her husband and my little brother."
It's okay for Harry Laforme to go on CBC Newsworld and say, "yes, we want to hear from Inuit and about their experiences." But what if we Inuit don't want to tell our stories to this commission?
Dear Mr. Irniq,
Thank you for your letter regarding my full apology, on behalf of all Canadians, to former students of Indian Residential Schools. I greatly appreciated receiving your kind words of support for the apology and your thoughtful comments regarding the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
No apology could erase this sad chapter in Canadian history. However, I believe our government has demonstrated our sincere commitment to achieving reconciliation with Aboriginal people across Canada.
Please be advised that I have forwarded a copy of your correspondence to my colleague, the Honourable Chuck Strahl, P.C., M.P., Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Metis and Non-Status Indians. I am confident that the minister will carefully consider your comments and suggestions.
Once again, thank you for taking the time to write.
The Rt. Hon. Stephen Harper, P.C., M.P.
Prime Minister of Canada