'We are sorry': Newfoundland and Labrador makes first apology for residential schools

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Andrew Furey made a solemn apology today to survivors of residential schools in southern Labrador.

Furey addressed members of the NunatuKavut Community Council in a gymnasium in Cartwright, N.L., where the Lockwood boarding school operated until 1964.

The premier's apology included a promise that the province's history of residential schools will be neither forgotten nor repeated.

He was presented with a painted drum by the Sandwich Bay Residential School Drummers, a group composed of NunatuKavut members who attended the Lockwood school, and descendants of former students.

NunatuKavut President Todd Russell said he hoped the apology would be a turning point along a path to reconciliation.

The NunatuKavut Community Council says it represents about 6,000 Inuit in south and central Labrador, though neither the Inuit Nunatsiavut government, in northern Labrador, nor the Innu Nation recognize the council's claims of Inuit identity.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 29, 2023.

The Canadian Press