Timeline

March 7, 2017 – Senator Lynn Beyak defended the Indian Residential School system in the Senate of Canada. She stated that an “abundance of good” has come from the Residential School system, and that the schools were “well-intentioned” and “mistakes” should not overshadow “good things” that happened.

March 16, 2017 – Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) wrote a letter to Senator Beyak asking for her to retract her statements and issue a formal apology. The Senator did not reply.

March 28, 2017 – NAN & Grand Council Treaty #3 (GCT#3) issued a joint press release calling for Senator Beyak to resign.

March 30, 2017 – NAN & GCT#3 sent a joint letter to Bob Nault, Member of Parliament for the Kenora riding, asking him to support the call for the Senator’s resignation and issue a public statement denouncing her comments. MP Nault did not respond or issue such a statement.

April 5, 2017 – Conservative Leader Rona Ambrose removes Senator Beyak from the Senate’s Standing Committee on Aboriginal Peoples.

April 6, 2017 – MP Nault issued a statement supporting the removal of Senator Beyak from the Committee. He said she is “grossly misinformed about the horrific impacts that the residential school system has had on generations of First Nations people” but did not call for her resignation.

July 11, 2017 – Senator Beyak meets with members of the Sioux Lookout Truth and Reconciliation Committee, including community leaders and residential school survivors in Sioux Lookout on issues surrounding truth and reconciliation.

September 1, 2017 – Senator Beyak posted a letter on her website repeating her defense of the Indian Residential School System. She urged First Nation people to “Trade your status card for a Canadian citizenship.”

September 14, 2017 – Mayor of Winnipeg calls for Senator Beyak’s resignation.

September 15, 2017 – Mayor of Edmonton calls for Senator Beyak’s resignation.

September 18, 2017 – Mayor of Sioux Lookout issues a statement denouncing Senator Beyak’s comments.

September 18, 2017 – Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer condemns Senator Beyak’s comments. He says she “doesn’t speak for our caucus, our party” but leaves her in the Conservative caucus. He said she has “no role” in the caucus, despite the fact that she remains listed on three Senate committees.

September 19, 2017 – Crown-Indigenous relations Minister Carolyn Bennett, in the House of Commons, urges Conservatives to remove Senator Beyak from caucus.

September 20, 2017 – The board of the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association issues a statement calling for Senator Beyak’s resignation.

September 20, 2017 – GCT#3 wrote a letter to the Senator asking for her resignation and calling for her immediate removal from the Senate.

September 20, 2017 – It was confirmed that Senator Beyak has been removed from all Senate committees, and has no role in affairs of the Conservative caucus.

January 4, 2018 – Opposition Leader Andrew Scheer removed Senator Beyak from the Conservative Party caucus after she refused to remove racist letters and comments on her from her website.

January 9, 2018 – NAN & GCT#3 launched a petition and website calling for the Senator’s resignation, and if she continues to refuse, her removal from the Senate.