Canada has apologised for forcing about 150,000 aboriginal children to attend state-funded Christian boarding schools aimed at assimilating them.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper made the apology in parliament in Ottawa, in front of hundreds of ex-schoolchildren.
The schools operated from the late 19th Century until the 1990s, although most of them shut in the 1970s.
Accounts of physical and sexual abuse at the institutions, known as residential schools, have also emerged.
Most of the churches that ran the schools apologised in the 1980s and 1990s.
Australia apologised for a similar policy in February.
'We are sorry'
Mr Harper said aboriginal Canadians had been waiting "a very long time" for an apology.
"I stand before you today to offer an apology to former students of Indian residential schools. The treatment of children in Indian residential schools is a sad chapter in our history."
He said the system had been based on the assumption that "aboriginal cultures and spiritual beliefs were inferior and unequal".
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