Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau apologizes for the government’s treatment of the country’s Inuit in the 1940s to 1960s.
The public complaint concerns the tuberculosis epidemic in northern Canada in the early 1940s. Trudeau says government policy at the time was “colonial” and “determined.” According to him, the government knew that the policy “was hard on the Inuit”.
– We apologize for taking you away from your family, for not showing you the respect and attention you deserved, the Prime Minister said in a speech on Friday.
In the early 1940s, thousands of Inuit were sent to southern Canada for treatment against tuberculosis. Many remained in southern Canada for years, and often their families were not informed of their fate or condition. Many were buried away from home, meaning relatives could not find out how they were really doing.
Among other things, the Inuit were not allowed to practice their own culture and language. Authorities identified them by numbers rather than names.
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