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Working group established to combat prejudice against Newfoundland and Labrador Innu

Premier Dwight Ball says keeping Perry Trimper in the Liberal caucus is about "second chances."
Premier Dwight Ball. - Telegram file photo

Lengthy meeting between Ball and Innu leaders leads to anti-racism agreement

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. —

A lengthy meeting between Premier Dwight Ball and Innu Nation leadership has resulted in a commitment to establish a “working group” to combat prejudice against the Innu within the provincial government.

“The premier and the Innu leadership are in agreement that racism in any form is unacceptable,” reads a joint statement released Monday evening.

Innu Nation Grand Chief Gregory Rich. - SaltWire File Photo
Innu Nation Grand Chief Gregory Rich. - SaltWire File Photo

The meeting was prompted after a leaked voicemail recording left by then-minister Perry Trimper on the voicemail of an Innu Nation member claiming the group played the “’race card” and felt it was “entitled” to government services.

Trimper resigned from the Liberal cabinet less than a week after being appointed to cabinet as minister of Municipal Affairs and Environment.

In the joint statement, Ball and Innu Nation Grand Chief Gregory Rich say the working group will be far-reaching in its goals.

“In order to achieve this objective, the mandate of the working group will be to develop concrete measures to ensure elected officials and government employees have an understanding and appreciation of Innu culture, values and history,” reads the statement.

“These measures will be developed for all government programs and services such as health, justice and corrections.”

On top of the working group, Ball has agreed to expedite land claims and self-government negotiations where the province has authority.

“The conclusion of this agreement will be a key step towards reconciliation and the recognition of and respect for Innu rights,” reads the statement.

The statement does not address whether or not Trimper will remain within the Liberal caucus. Ball recently stated that removing Trimper from cabinet and not caucus was about “second chances,” given the speed and depth of Trimper’s apology for the leaked message.

Twitter: @DavidMaherNL   


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