Trudeau visits First Nation to apologize after holiday snub

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Justin TrudeauIMAGE SOURCE,GETTY IMAGES

Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has met indigenous leaders two weeks after he took a seaside holiday on a day meant to honors residential schools survivors and victims.

His decision to skip formal events on the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation was widely criticised.

The day honours the indigenous children who were forced to assimilate in state-backed residential schools.

On Monday, Mr Trudeau visited the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc nation.

“I am here today to say I wish I was here a few weeks ago, and I deeply regret it,” Mr Trudeau said in his prepared remarks.

The Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Nation – located near the site of the former Kamloops residential school in British Columbia, where the unmarked graves of 215 children were discovered in May – had written twice to invite Mr Trudeau to mark the 30 September date.

The letters had gone unanswered, and Mr Trudeau – after first saying he would be holding private meetings in Ottawa – was photographed with his family on a beach in Tofino, British Columbia.

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