TRC to release final report on Canada's residential school legacy

OTTAWA - The Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which documented the haunting legacy of Canada's residential schools, is set to present its final report Tuesday to the parties in the class-action settlement that led to its creation.

See Full Article

Justice Murray Sinclair, who has led the TRC's exhaustive investigation over the past six years, said each member of the agreement will receive a copy of the massive findings to complete the commission's obligation.

The Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement was reached after former residential school survivors took the federal government and churches to court with the support of the Assembly of First Nations and Inuit organizations.

The arrangement was designed to help repair the lasting damage caused by the schools, and - in addition to compensating survivors - to explore the truth behind the government-funded, church-operated assimilation program that existed in Canada from the 1870s to 1996.

After unveiling its summary in June, which included the key finding that the residential school system facilitated nothing short of "cultural genocide," the TRC will now release hard copies of the full report.

Each copy weighs about 25 pounds, Sinclair estimates. But that's nothing compared to the work's emotional heft.

"Every time I stand in front of a crowd - particularly of survivors, but a crowd generally - and I talk about the issue of residential schools, I always wonder if I can get through it," Sinclair said.

"It is always such a challenge because it ... has been a very demanding piece of work and that alone would be enough to cause difficulty to talk about. But more importantly, there's so many people who have been part of this who are no longer with us."

Among the commission's 94 recommendations was a national public inquiry to examine the phenomenon of missing and murdered aboriginal women - a demand long resisted by former prime minister Stephen Harper.

Last week, the new Liberal government set the wheels in motion by kicking off the "design phase" of the long-awaited inquiry.

The pre-inquiry consultation involves speaking to victims' families and aboriginal organizations.

"They've taken steps to carry out that commitment and that's important," Sinclair said.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has also approached aboriginal issues in a more respectful manner, he added.

"In our calls to action, in our summary report, we did talk about the importance in leadership and the importance of there being a national voice around reconciliation," he said.

"It is also about changing the way we talk to and about each other."

Sinclair, the first aboriginal judge appointed in Manitoba, said he's hopeful there will be a broad discussion about the inquiry and its terms of reference, and that the inquiry is tasked with exploring whether systemic issues are at play.

"I think really the emphasis is going to be to try to answer the big questions of what happened and why?" Sinclair said.

"It is not just the families, it is also Canadian society. I think Canada needs to know as well why is this happening and is it happening elsewhere? That's a bigger question ... is this going on around the world?"



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Treyvonne Willis denied new trial

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    Manitoba's highest court has denied a new trial for a man who claimed he carried out a contract killing under duress after he was threatened with death himself over a drug debt. Treyvonne Willis, 24, was convicted by a jury in April 2015 of first-degree murder for the stabbing death of 26-year-old Kaila Tran outside her St. Source
  • Hawaii summits could get more than 2 feet of snow

    World News CTV News
    HONOLULU -- The summits of Hawaii's Big Island could get more than two feet of snow, with a winter storm warning in effect through Saturday. Yes, it snows in Hawaii, Matthew Foster, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Honolulu, said he had to explain to some surprised out-of-state callers Friday. Source
  • Toronto-area doctor charged with first-degree murder in wife's death

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- Police say a Toronto neurosurgeon is to appear in court Saturday facing a first-degree murder charge in the death of his wife. The body of Elana Fric Shamji, 40, was found Thursday in Vaughan, Ont. Source
  • Military advances fight against sexual misconduct

    Canada News CTV News
    Days after victims of military sexual assault raised concerns about lenient sentences, CTV News has learned of a new directive from Canada’s top soldier to remove from their jobs anyone who has committed sexual misconduct. Source
  • What U.S. presidents said about ties with China and Taiwan

    World News CTV News
    President-elect Donald Trump spoke Friday with Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen, a highly unusual and probably unprecedented move since the U.S. broke diplomatic ties with the self-governing island in 1979 and shifted to diplomatic recognition of China under a so-called "one-China" policy. Source
  • 21 Chinese miners trapped for 4 days confirmed dead

    World News CTV News
    BEIJING -- Twenty-one miners who were trapped for four days after an explosion hit their unlicensed coal mine have been confirmed dead, and four people have been arrested in connection with the disaster, state-run Xinhua News Agency reported Saturday. Source
  • Possible faculty member fatally stabbed at USC

    World News CTV News
    Los Angeles officials say a possible faculty member has been fatally stabbed at the University of Southern California. Los Angeles police Officer Drake Madison says the stabbing happened Friday afternoon and that the victim was a possible faculty member. Source
  • Professor fatally stabbed on USC campus, student arrested

    World News CTV News
    LOS ANGELES -- A professor was stabbed to death on the University of Southern California campus in Los Angeles on Friday and a suspect arrested in his death is a male student, a police spokeswoman said. Source
  • Amber Alert issued for Layla Sabry, 9, last seen in Welland, Ont.

    Canada News CBC News
    Police in Ontario have issued an Amber alert for a missing nine-year-old girl. Niagara Regional Police say Layla Sabry is believed to have been abducted. They describe Layla as white, about four-foot-two, with a thin build, brown hair, and brown eyes. Source
  • Ontario police cancel Amber Alert, 9-year-old girl still not found

    Canada News CBC News
    Police in Ontario have ended an Amber Alert that was issued Friday for a nine-year-old girl. The Niagara Regional Police Service said it cancelled the alert early Saturday morning, even though the girl had still not been located. Source