Beyak removed from committee; petition calls for resignation

Senator Lynn Beyak

When Lynn Beyak recently suggested “some good” came out of Canada’s residential schools, the Conservative Senator touched off a firestorm that prompted her removal from the Senate’s committee on Aboriginal Peoples late Wednesday.

Shortly after Ms. Beyak made her comments challenging the verity of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and Indian Residential School Survivors’ experiences, I started a petition demanding the resignation or dismissal of Ms. Beyak from Canada’s Senate.

The petition has been sponsored by MP Romeo Saganash, who himself is an Indian Residential School Survivor.

Senator Beyak’s now famous comments suggested the “good deeds” of “well-intentioned men and women” in Residential Schools have gone “unacknowledged for the most part and are overshadowed by negative reports.”

This view is at odds with the findings of the TRC that spent six years examining the abuse and mistreatment in the government-funded, church-run institutions that operated from 1870 to 1996.

Canada’s bitter legacy: For more than a century, tens of thousands of Indigenous children were taken from their families and forced to attend Residential Schools.

Because Ms. Beyak continues to stand by her comments, this petition is calling for her resignation. It reads:


Petition to the Government of Canada

Whereas:

Senator Lynn Beyak’s comments against the verity of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) stating that Indian Residential Schools had “kindly and well-intentioned men and women…whose remarkable work, good deeds and historical tales in the Residential Schools go unnoticed” are an affront to all the work that the TRC undertook under the leadership of Senator Murray Sinclair while he was the Chair of the TRC;

Her comments epitomize the privileged position that she occupies;

She has said she “suffered with them up there. I appreciate their suffering more than they’ll ever know” and “The best way to heal is to move forward together. Not to blame, not to point fingers, not to live in the past.” and these comments are detrimental to First Nations, Inuit, and Metis Residential School Survivors, their families and all Canadians;

The last Indian Residential School just closed in 1996 and families across this country are still feeling the effects from them and are very much suffering; and

She has a lack of respect for the over 150,000 First Nation, Inuit and Metis children who were forcibly ripped from their homes and communities for over 150 years. Over 6000 of these children never left these schools as they died in them.

We, the undersigned, citizens and residents of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to request for the resignation or dismissal of Conservative Senator Lynn Beyak due to her lack of empathy for all Indian Residential School Survivors, their families, and all Canadians.


Click here to sign this petition

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2 responses to “Beyak removed from committee; petition calls for resignation”

  1. Doug Kretchmer

    BTW. Great article, Cameron. Thanks for writing it and creating awareness to this very important issue.

  2. Doug Kretchmer

    My gosh, what an extremely thoughtless and insensitive thing for her to say. While I myself always try to look on the ‘bright side’, there is absolutely no ‘bright side’ to residential schools and the horrible abuse they put these kids through. As a public servant Senator Lynn Beyak should have put a little more thought into what she says in public. When I read the figure 100,000 it truly brought tears to my eyes to think of the many ruined lives, not to mention the incredible culture that was systematically taken away. Shame on these horrible schools and shame on Senator Lynn Beyak. Residential schools were and remain to be a despicable chapter in Canada’s history. The healing of the survivors is going to take a long time and comments like her’s do not help.

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