Canada should apologize to its aboriginal people, B.C.’s First Nations said yesterday following an historic apology by the Australian government.



The apology expressed the parliament’s sorrow for the “laws and policies of successive parliaments and governments that have inflicted profound grief, suffering and loss” upon aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders.



Grand Chief Edward John of the First Nations Summit attended the speech at the Parliament House in Canberra.

“I saw many elders in the house openly crying and weeping and holding each other for support,” he said. “It was a powerful moment in the nation’s history.”

In a 2003 throne speech, the provincial government expressed regret for the past treatment of First Nations people, but have never formally apologized.

John said that a statement of regret is not an apology and that what he wants most is a sincere apology.

Apology Act

  • In 2006, Liberal MLA Lorne Mayencourt introduced the Apology Act, which specifies that an apology is not an admission of liability and is not admissible in court.

  • He hoped that it would help with First Nations reconciliation.