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Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Singh emotional after visiting site of Cowessess First Nation unmarked graves

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COWESSESS FIRST NATION — NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh teared up today as he spoke about visiting the location of a former residential school and seeing the site of hundreds of unmarked graves as a soon-to-be-father.

The NDP leader and his wife, who is pregnant with their first child, took his campaign to Cowessess First Nation in Saskatchewan, which announced in June a preliminary finding of 751 unmarked graves.

Singh says he offered a prayer while there, noting that the kirpan he wears as part of his Sikh faith is a symbol of his commitment to fight for justice.

When asked how he felt, surrounded by unmarked graves of children with his own baby on the way, Singh choked up and had to pause before saying it had a different impact because of his own family, but it’s not about him.

He says it is about Indigenous people being denied justice and he repeated his calls for a special prosecutor and that all residential schools’ records from institutions such as governments and churches be released.

Many of his pledges on Indigenous issues, such as ensuring access to clean drinking water for everyone, are similar to Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau’s, but Singh says the difference is he will work on reconciliation as someone who has been treated as lesser because of how he looks.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 20, 2021.

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