The Canadian Politician (Toronto). – It was an apology long overdue, and today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on behalf of the federal government apologized to the Inuit for the wrongful federal government policy on tuberculosis in the mid-20th century. The apology also extended to the many untold injustices that were visited on them during this most trying times of the tuberculosis crisis. The Inuit were dehumanized with their children deprived of their cultural heritage and punished when they did not follow colonial instructions. The prime minister acknowledged the fact that they were tagged with numbers instead of their names, furthering the warped narrative of their inhumanity and facelessness.
“For too long, the government’s relationship with Inuit was one of double standards, and of unfair, unequal treatment,” the prime minister said to many who came from around the country to witness this monumental apology some thought would never come in their life time. The prime minister continued, “Canada must carry that guilt and that shame. ” The shame the prime minister referred to had to do with the isolation the Inuit were subjected to in southern part of the country during the tuberculosis crisis.
To address these injustices, the prime minister announced several initiatives that involved substantial funding for various purposes designed to assuage their pain and to begin the odious process of reconciliation. Though belated, the prime minister’s apology on behalf of the federal government was welcomed by many who attended the event, with some saying that it is better now than never. Under Trudeau, the federal government has initiated several programs to address past injustices, including the establishment of a new statutory holiday in September to celebrate indigenous reconciliation.