Ottawa apologizes for 'radical social engineering' experiment on First Nation

·1 min read

PEEPEEKISIS CREE NATION — Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Marc Miller delivered an apology on behalf of the federal government to a Saskatchewan First Nation for an “experiment in radical social engineering” that forced a farming colony on the community's land.

Miller spoke in Peepeekisis Cree Nation, in southeastern Saskatchewan, saying Canada failed to protect the nation’s interest in the land and created divisions in the community.

The First Nation was home to the File Hills Colony, which is a little acknowledged part of Canada’s residential school history.

As part of the scheme, residential school graduates from Manitoba and elsewhere in Saskatchewan were transferred onto the Cree Nation’s land without the community’s consent.

Miller says the actions led to a loss of culture through restricted access to land and household visits, as well as a ban on cultural practices.

The First Nation agreed to a $150-million federal settlement last year.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 3, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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