Canadians need to be patient, present, unconditional with reconciliation: Trudeau

Getting reconciliation right means allowing Indigenous communities to ‘make their own mistakes’

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says non-Indigenous Canadians need to be patient and unconditional in their support of Indigenous communities on the road to reconciliation and allow them to make mistakes.

“We have to be patient. We have to be present. We have to be unconditional in our support in a way a parent needs to be unconditional in their love — not that there is a parent-child dynamic here,” Trudeau said Thursday night at a Liberal fundraiser in Victoria.

Getting reconciliation right means allowing Indigenous communities to “make their own mistakes,” he said.

“No matter how well-meaning and how many experts we draw together to say: this is the solution that’s going to lift your community out of poverty, this is the solution that’s going to empower you to be business people and entrepreneurs and control your land and control your future — it can’t come from us.”

Trudeau made the remarks at the Delta Ocean Pointe Resort in Victoria during an “armchair discussion” moderated by Nikki Macdonald, who was a senior adviser to former Liberal prime minister Jean Chretien.

Trudeau had spent the early part of the day in Montreal at a European Union trade summit before flying across the country for an afternoon and evening event in Victoria.

READ MORE: Father and son unveil reconciliation pole in B.C. on Indigenous Peoples Day

He told attendees that the most powerful thing about reconciliation for him has been seeing consensus among non-Indigenous Canadians that it is time to start down a path of true respect and partnership.

He said Canadians have spent decades helping out on the world stage in areas such as poverty and human rights, while failing to see the way Canada has failed its First Peoples.

But the “heart-wrenching” level of intergenerational trauma that exists in some Indigenous communities was centuries in the making and it will take more than a few years to undo, he said. While some Indigenous communities are thriving, there continue to be stories of collective failures as a country to move forward.

“There’s a tremendous impatience out there to fix this quickly. I feel it too, but we need to get this right,” Trudeau said.

“There’s a lot of work still to do, but what keeps me convinced that we’re going to get there is continued goodwill and an emphasis on actually getting it done that I hear from non-Indigenous and Indigenous Canadians.”

Amy Smart, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

VIDEO: Abbotsford donair restaurant catches fire

Donairo’s on McCallum Street site of kitchen fire

Abbotsford School District reviewing transportation services

Info session for parents being held at Abbotsford Middle School at 7 p.m. on Dec. 9

Abbotsford among 4 performances of Messiah in the Valley

Chilliwack Symphony Orchestra and Chorus performs Thursday, Dec. 12

Hallmark movie homes featured on Abbotsford tour

Mt. Lehman Christmas Home Tour offers peek into six local houses

VIDEO: Boys help rescue Cariboo bear cub

The cub, weighing just 24lbs, has been taken to wildlife sanctuary in Northwest B.C. for the winter

Campbell River mom’s iPhone containing priceless photos stolen from Victoria hospital parkade

The phone contained photos, heartbeat recordings of her late son

Miller nets winner as Canucks edge Sabres 6-5 in OT

Roussel, Leivo tally two apiece for Vancouver

‘Norovirus-like’ outbreak interrupts Bantam hockey showcase in Greater Victoria

Several athletes were sent home, quarantined on the ferry

Strong turnout of volunteers to search for missing senior

Ted Vanderveen disappeared in rural Maple Ridge on Nov. 28

SkyTrain strike to begin Tuesday with ‘full shutdown’, CUPE says

BCRTC president says job action is ‘completely unacceptable’ to use SkyTrain users ‘as leverage’

Kelowna man attempts to steal bait bike from RCMP parking lot

38-year-old Brian Richard Harbison is facing several charges

Owners of hotels on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside fight $1 expropriation in court

Vancouver City Council voted to expropriate the properties for $1 each in November

‘Things haven’t changed enough:’ Ecole Polytechnique anniversary prompts reflection

Fourteen women were fatally shot by a gunman at the Montreal school on Dec. 6, 1989

Most Read