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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Kicking Horse Update Monday January 20

Kicking Horse reports 2 cm of snow in the last 24 hours,with… Continue reading

Highway Update January 20

Highway 1 is closed just east of Revelstoke according to DriveBC due… Continue reading

Ktunaxa, supporters celebrate protection of Qat’muk and the Jumbo valley

Speeches, acknowledgements and ceremonies mark an emotional gathering in Cranbrook

Jumbo Valley to be protected, ending decades-long dispute over proposed ski resort

Development rights permanently retired for site of proposed year-round ski resort west of Invermere

Wrangle the Chute returns to Kicking Horse

Wrangle the Chute will be returning to Kicking Horse Mountain Resort from… Continue reading

Poll suggests some don’t think Canada should send troops to stop genocide

The findings are being released just before the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz

B.C. woman crowned the fastest female marathon runner in Canadian history

Malindi Elmore ran an incredible 2:24:50 at the Houston Marathon

Alberta bulldog breeder ordered to give refund to B.C. buyer due to puppy’s behaviour

Tribunal ruled a verbal agreement to send a new dog superseded the written contract

UPDATED: Man dies in backcountry near Nelson’s Whitewater Ski Resort

The victim was found unresponsive in a tree well Friday

Cariboo Memorial Hospital back to normal after cold weather wreaks havoc

Burst pipes and water leaks cause three different incidents

Dog reunited with Tofino owner, months after being taken from beach

Shannon Boothman ‘ecstatic’ at pet’s return after a tip leads to social media search

Huawei exec’s extradition hearing begins in Canada

China’s foreign ministry complained the United States and Canada were violating Meng’s rights

Prince Harry: ‘Powerful media’ is why he’s stepping away

Prince Harry and Megan have stepped away from their royal commitments

Most Read