Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Monday exonerated six First Nations chiefs who were executed by BC’s colonial government more than 150 years ago.
Trudeau delivered a “statement of exoneration” in the House of Commons for the Tsilhqot’in chiefs.
The chiefs were hanged following a deadly confrontation with white road builders during the Chilcotin War of 1864.
Trudeau said that while apologies cannot alone make right the wrongs of the past, they are an important part of reconciliation and renewing Canada’s relationship with Indigenous people.
In a statement, Tsilhqot’in National Government Tribal Chairman Chief Joe Alphonse says the Tsilhqot’in people’s journey to this place of reconciliation has been long and enduring.
While Alphonse says the deceit of 154 years ago can never be forgotten, he says they can move forward on a different path, one carved out of mutual understanding and respect of Tsilhqot’in rights, title, and way of life.