Minister of Education Bronwyn Eyre stood up in the Saskatchewan Legislature and apologized to the assembly on Wednesday.
In her statement, Eyre acknowledged that another account of the homework she cited previously was made public.
“Facts as they were related to me about an in-class presentation are now in dispute from another account,” she said. “Erring on the side of caution, probity and the honour of the assembly, I apologize unequivocally to this house for the disputed account included in my Throne Speech reply.”
She reaffirmed that mandatory treaty education will remain in the province.
“I will continue to work towards its continuation and its strengthening,” she said.
Eyre has come under fire for comments she made in a response to the Throne Speech about her son’s homework, saying he brought home a history assignment which denigrated his ancestors.
In the speech Eyre said her son had “copied from the board the following facts which were presented as fact: that European and European settlers were colonialists, pillagers of the land who knew only buying and selling and didn’t respect Mother Earth.”
Interim NDP leader Nicole Sarauer said Eyre’s apology fell short.
“She did not apologize to the teacher who she singled out, she did not apologize to all those who support Indigenous Education or to those who support the accurate teaching of history, for that matter,” said Sarauer.
“The students were being asked to open their minds and consider what their own perspectives mean, but instead of doing what the students were asked to do the Minister twisted the assignment and doubled down on her own ideas. When you consider what she is overseeing—an entire curriculum review—that is very scary.”
When speaking to the press following question period, Eyre said her statement in the house was intended to be an “all-inclusive, sweeping apology.”
NDP calls for Eyre to leave cabinet
A public petition asking the premier to remove Eyre from cabinet has more than 2,700 signatures. Eyre has not acknowledged calls for her resignation.
Sarauer asked Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall to remove Eyre from cabinet if she would not resign herself.
He commended her apology and said he will continue to stand by her.
“I’m looking forward to the work of the minister and the ministry in the months ahead,” Wall said.
NDP education critic Carla Beck said Eyre’s comments have been more damaging then she seems to be aware of.
“She’s lost the trust of people within the sector. They would like to see someone who has a deeper understanding of the issues and a deeper commitment to this reconciliation project,” she said.
The Opposition raised the matter with the Speaker, accusing Eyre of deliberately misleading the assembly to support a personal viewpoint.
The Speaker said there was not enough evidence to establish there had been a breach of privilege.