OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s office says he has apologized to the chief of a British Columbia First Nation which invited him to visit on Canada’s first National Truth and Reconciliation Day.
Trudeau flew to Tofino, B.C., last Thursday to spend time with his family on a day meant to mark the painful legacy of Canada’s residential school system.
Global News filmed the prime minister walking along a beach, and reports of his trip sparked criticism from Indigenous leaders who say it was disrespectful of him not to attend events honouring survivors.
The Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Nation, which earlier this year announced the findings of more than 200 unmarked graves at the site of a former residential school, shared on social media that it sent “two heartfelt invitations” for Trudeau to join them on Sept. 30.
His office says Trudeau reached out to Chief Rosanne Casimir on Saturday and offered his apology.
A spokesperson for the First Nation confirmed today that a conversation and apology took place, but offered no other details.
Trudeau’s office says the prime minister looks forward to visiting soon.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 3, 2021
The Canadian Press