'We need a vision for reconciliation': TRC set to release its final report

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission is set to release its final report on the legacy of the residential school system on Canada's indigenous population on Tuesday.

See Full Article

A summary of the report unveiled in June found that the school system amounted to "cultural genocide,” and functioned not to educate aboriginal children but to "primarily break their link to their culture and identity."

It also described the institutions as places where neglect and abuse were common, and where aboriginal languages were suppressed.

An estimated 150,000 aboriginal children passed through the residential school system over 150 years.

The commission interviewed more than 6,700 former students from across the country.

Justice Murray Sinclair, who has fronted the TRC's sweeping investigation for the past six years, will present the final report to the parties involved in the class-action settlement that led to the commission's initial creation on Tuesday.

"We need a vision for reconciliation, we all need to grab on to it and we need to work with it," Sinclair told CTV News.

Sinclair said that the commission used the "establishment of a mutually respectful relationship," as the standard for reconciliation in the report, but hopes to also help aboriginals develop an understanding of the "validity of their cultures and their languages."

"We still hold to that as an ultimate objective to this, but at the same time we need people to understand that there is a need for indigenous people to be able to find their self-respect -- to make sure they have the ability to develop pride in themselves," he said.

The findings are also expected to address the more than 3,000 aboriginal children who died from tuberculosis or malnutrition, the high number of aboriginal teenagers in prison, as well as the number of aboriginal children caught up in the child welfare system.

The report makes it clear that successive government have neglected to address the issues facing the community.

But Sinclair hopes that the Liberal government can help to turn over a new leaf.

"We're hoping this government will turn the conversation around by showing leadership in terms of both the nation-to-nation relationship, which is important on a macro level, but also on an individual level by making sure people understand that reconciliation is important, that people have a right to their culture, a right to their language and a right to be supported in those wishes," he said.

The summary report called on federal, provincial and territorial governments to implement 94 sweeping recommendations in hopes of achieving reconciliation, which Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has promised to fully adopt.

Among the commission's recommendations was a national public inquiry to examine the more than 1,200 aboriginal women who have gone missing or been murdered since the 1980s.

Last week, the Liberal government launched the "design phase" of a national inquiry, which will involve consultations with affected families, aboriginal community organizations and frontline workers.

The process will elapse over the next two months, and a full inquiry is expected to begin next spring.

"They've taken steps to carry out that commitment and that's important," Sinclair told The Canadian Press.

Sinclair also recognized that Trudeau has so far handled aboriginal issues in a more respectful manner.

"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 said he hopes the inquiry will be tasked with investigating the potential systemic issues related to missing and murdered indigenous women.

"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?"

With files from The Canadian Press



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Giuliani advises no Mueller interview without informant info

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Donald Trump's legal team would advise that he refuse to submit to an interview with special counsel Robert Mueller unless the team can review classified information shared with select lawmakers about the origins of the FBI investigation into Russia's election meddling, Trump's personal lawyer said Sunday. Source
  • Conservative, leftist appear headed for runoff in Colombia

    World News CTV News
    BOGOTA -- The conservative protege of a powerful former president and a leftist former guerrilla who has galvanized voters with an anti-establishment message appeared headed for what promises to be a polarizing runoff election for president in Colombia. Source
  • 'Free yourself' of Liberals, Coalition Avenir Quebec leader tells anglos

    Canada News CTV News
    LEVIS, Que. -- The leader of the Coalition Avenir Quebec urged English-speaking Quebecers on Sunday to liberate themselves from Premier Philippe Couillard's Liberals in October's provincial election. "Free yourself!" Francois Legault told supporters during the closing speech of a party meeting in Levis, on the outskirts of Quebec City. Source
  • Crews cleaning up oil spill at Kinder Morgan station north of Kamloops, B.C.

    Canada News CBC News
    Crews using an emergency response trailer and vacuum trucks are working to clean up a crude oil spill at a Kinder Morgan station north of Kamloops, B.C. The provincial Ministry of Environment said a flow meter has leaked about 100 litres of crude oil into the ground at the Darfield station. Source
  • Crew of 27 Nova Scotians dispatched to help fight Alberta forest fires

    Canada News CTV News
    HALIFAX -- A crew of 27 people from Nova Scotia's Department of Natural Resources was in Alberta Sunday to help control wildfires sweeping across parts of the province. A spokesman with the department said the crew arrived in Edmonton Saturday evening and will remain in Alberta for two weeks. Source
  • George H.W. Bush taken to hospital in Maine

    World News CBC News
    Former U.S. president George H.W. Bush was hospitalized Sunday in Maine after he experienced low blood pressure and fatigue, a spokesperson said. Bush, 93, was awake, alert and not in any discomfort, said spokesperson Jim McGrath. Bush will spend at least a few days in the hospital for observation. Source
  • Indigenous chiefs, activists attend Kinder Morgan protest in Montreal

    Canada News CTV News
    MONTREAL -- Three prominent Quebec-area Indigenous chiefs were among the hundreds of people who gathered in Montreal on Sunday to protest the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion. Assembly of First Nations regional Chief Ghislain Picard, Mohawk Chief Serge Simon and Innu Chief Jean-Charles Pietacho spoke out against the project, citing the need to show solidarity with First Nations and other groups in British Columbia who are fighting against it. Source
  • Environment Canada issues air quality, heat statements for southern Ontario

    Canada News CTV News
    Summer weather is making itself known in southern Ontario, with rising temperatures bringing along the season’s first special air quality statement from Environment Canada. Hot and sunny conditions in southwestern Ontario and the Greater Toronto Area comes with the possibility of high levels of air pollution Sunday afternoon through Monday, Environment Canada warns. Source
  • Flash flooding reported in Maryland as heavy rain soaks area

    World News CTV News
    ELLICOTT CITY, Md. -- Flash floods struck a Maryland community wracked by similar flooding in 2016, authorities said, and water rescues were being carried out as raging brown waters surged through the streets Sunday. News outlets showed photos and video of turbulent water rushing down Main Street in Ellicott City, some 13 miles (20 kilometres) west of Baltimore. Source
  • Authorities: Flash flood surges through Maryland community

    World News CTV News
    ELLICOTT CITY, Md. -- Flash floods struck a Maryland city on Sunday that had been wracked by similar devastation two years earlier, prompting emergency rescues as raging waters engulfed cars and rose above the first floor of some buildings, authorities said. Source