November 25, 2005

Officials, aboriginal leaders open talks

Arizona Daily Sun

KELOWNA, British Columbia (AP) -- Indigenous leaders came to this former frontier town Thursday to hash out with Canadian officials a multibillion-dollar plan to fight poverty and disease on native reserves and settle damage claims for mistreatment.

Prime Minister Paul Martin, participating in the two-day summit along with the premiers of Canada's 13 provinces and territories, got a jump on talks Wednesday by proposing a $1.7 billion payment for aboriginal victims of sexual and psychological abuse during forced Christian schooling.

Some 100,000 children were required to attend such residential schools over the past century, and the sad history of their abuse has long been cited by Indian leaders as the root cause of epidemic rates of alcoholism and drug addiction on reserves.

Posted by kshaw at November 25, 2005 05:51 PM