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Justin Trudeau to visit Kamloops, B.C. after skipping First Nation reconciliation ceremony

Click to play video: 'Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to visit Kamloops First Nation on Monday' Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to visit Kamloops First Nation on Monday
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will be visiting the Tk'emlups te Secwe̓pemc First Nation on Monday. This announcement follows huge backlash against Trudeau for choosing to vacation in Tofino on the first ever National Day of Truth and Reconciliation. – Oct 15, 2021

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will be visiting Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, after he failed to take part in that community’s National Day for Truth and Reconciliation ceremony despite being in Tofino the same day.

Trudeau will be meeting with Tk’emlúps Nation Chief Rosanne Casimir along with community members and First Nations leadership from Secwepemculecw, among others.

The prime minister will hear from residential school survivors and intergenerational survivors while he is there.

Click to play video: 'Indigenous leader calls Trudeau’s Tofino trip ‘slap in the face’' Indigenous leader calls Trudeau’s Tofino trip ‘slap in the face’
Indigenous leader calls Trudeau’s Tofino trip ‘slap in the face’ – Oct 1, 2021

The First Nation community had twice invited him to mark Canada’s first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on Sept. 30 with them, but he flew to Tofino, B.C., that day and spent part of it vacationing with family. He later apologized.

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Read more: Trudeau says Tofino vacation was a ‘mistake’

The Tḱemlúps te Secwépemc First Nation said Trudeau’s lack of response to attend the event was an “added insult.”

“Reconciliation starts with action. Real action and change is needed that supports healing, the revitalization of our language, culture, traditions, and ways of knowing,” the First Nation said in a statement.

“We are not interested in apologies that don’t lead to institutional and widespread change.”

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The band announced back on May 27 that it had found the remains of 215 children buried on the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School, sparking mourning and demonstrations across the country.

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