'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

  • Grandparents shocked by reports of 13 starved grandchildren

    World News CTV News
    LOS ANGELES - The grandparents of 13 starved and tortured children say their son's family looked happy and healthy when they last visited California six years ago. Betty and James Turpin of Princeton, West Virginia say they were in shock when they learned of the arrest of their son David Turpin and his wife, Louise Turpin this week. Source
  • Serbian police arrest three Australians over US$400M cocaine haul

    World News CTV News
    CANBERRA, Australia - Three Australians have been arrested in Serbia over the second-largest cocaine haul in Australian law enforcement history, police said on Thursday. Serbian police alleged the men arrested in a Belgrade hotel foyer on Wednesday "are linked to" the discovery of 1.28 metric tons (1.41 U.S. Source
  • Texas 'Tourniquet Killer' set to be first U.S. execution in 2018

    World News CTV News
    HUNTSVILLE, Texas - A man who became known as Houston's "Tourniquet Killer" because of his signature murder technique on four female victims is set to become the nation's first prisoner executed in 2018. Texas prison officials Thursday evening are scheduled to give 55-year-old Anthony Allen Shore lethal injection for the 1992 strangling of a 21-year-old woman whose body was dumped in the drive-thru of a Dairy Queen in Houston. Source
  • Exercise? I get more than people think, Trump says

    World News CBC News
    Do not expect U.S. President Donald Trump to hit the gym, despite his doctor's orders. He gets plenty of exercise on the golf course and at the White House complex, the president told Reuters on Wednesday. Source
  • Pope wraps up Chile stop with visit to migrants

    World News CTV News
    SANTIAGO, Chile - Pope Francis wraps up his Chile visit Thursday by meeting with members of the South American nation's booming immigrant community, who are flocking to the region's strongest and most stable economy but are increasingly the focus of political and social discontent. Source
  • Student dies at University of Ottawa residence, school president says

    Canada News CTV News
    OTTAWA - The president of the University of Ottawa says a student has died at a school residence. But in a statement posted on the university website, Jacques Fremont did not identify the student nor a cause of death. Source
  • Unifor splits with Canadian Labour Congress over workers' right to choose union

    Canada News CTV News
    The largest private sector union in Canada said Wednesday it is splitting with the Canadian Labour Congress over issues which include disagreements about the rights of workers to choose what union should represent them. In a notice posted on its website, Unifor national president Jerry Dias and Quebec director Renaud Gagne said the congress has also been less than supportive of their concern about American-based unions "trampling on the rights" of workers. Source
  • 'Fire and Fury' about Trump's White House sells big 2nd week

    World News CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Michael Wolff's "Fire and Fury" sold more than 190,000 hardcover copies last week, the book's first full week of publication, a company which tracks the retail market told The Associated Press on Wednesday. Source
  • No record that required inspections be conducted at California 'horror house' where 13 children were kept

    World News CBC News
    City officials couldn't find any records that the fire marshal conducted required annual inspections at a California home that doubled as a private school where authorities say 13 malnourished siblings were kept captive in filthy conditions by their parents. Source
  • LAPD: Serial rapist arrested after victim fell out of car

    World News CTV News
    LOS ANGELES -- A security guard who was arrested after a prostitute fell out of his car is suspected of raping more than a dozen women or girls as young as 15 at gunpoint in Los Angeles County, police said Wednesday. Source