Truth and Reconciliation Commission: Excerpts from the final report

OTTAWA -- Excerpts from the seven-volume, 3,766-page Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada:

"Canada's residential school system for aboriginal children was an education system in name only for much of its existence.

See Full Article

These residential schools were created for the purpose of separating aboriginal children from their families, in order to minimize and weaken family ties and cultural linkages, and to indoctrinate children into a new culture -- the culture of the legally dominant Euro-Christian Canadian society, led by Canada's first prime minister, Sir John A. Macdonald."

"Children were abused, physically and sexually, and they died in the schools in numbers that would not have been tolerated in any school system anywhere in the country, or in the world."

"The number of students who died at Canada's residential schools is not likely ever to be known in full. The most serious gap in information arises from the incompleteness of the documentary record. Many records have simply been destroyed."

"The most basic of questions about missing children -- Who died? Why did they die? Where are they buried? -- have never been addressed or comprehensively documented by the Canadian government."

"Cultural genocide is the destruction of those structures and practices that allow the group to continue as a group. States that engage in cultural genocide set out to destroy the political and social institutions of the targeted group. Land is seized, and populations are forcibly transferred and their movement is restricted. Languages are banned. Spiritual leaders are persecuted, spiritual practices are forbidden and objects of spiritual value are confiscated and destroyed. And, most significantly to the issue at hand, families are disrupted to prevent the transmission of cultural values and identity from one generation to the next."

"The Canadian government pursued this policy of cultural genocide because it wished to divest itself of its legal and financial obligations to aboriginal people and gain control over their land and resources. If every aboriginal person had been 'absorbed into the body politic,' there would be no reserves, no treaties, and no aboriginal rights."

"The schools were intended to sever the link between aboriginal children and parents. They did this work only too well. Family connections were permanently broken. Children exposed to strict and regimented discipline in the schools not only lost their connections to parents, but also found it difficult to become loving parents."

"To the commission, reconciliation is about establishing and maintaining a mutually respectful relationship between aboriginal and non-aboriginal peoples in this country. In order for that to happen, there has to be awareness of the past, acknowledgment of the harm that has been inflicted, atonement for the causes and action to change behaviour. We are not there yet."

"Reconciliation must support aboriginal peoples as they heal from the destructive legacies of colonization that have wreaked such havoc in their lives. But it must do even more. Reconciliation must inspire aboriginal and non-aboriginal peoples to transform Canadian society so that our children and grandchildren can live together in dignity, peace, and prosperity on these lands we now share."

"While the commission has been a catalyst for deepening our national awareness of the meaning and potential of reconciliation, it will take many heads, hands, and hearts, working together, at all levels of society to maintain momentum in the years ahead. It will also take sustained political will at all levels of government and concerted material resources."

"One hundred years from now, our children's children and their children must know and still remember this history, because they will inherit from us the responsibility of ensuring that it never happens again."

"Current conditions such as the disproportionate apprehension of aboriginal children by child-welfare agencies and the disproportionate imprisonment and victimization of aboriginal people can be explained in part as a result or legacy of the way that aboriginal children were treated in residential schools and were denied an environment of positive parenting, worthy community leaders and a positive sense of identity and self-worth."

"The beliefs and attitudes that were used to justify the establishment of residential schools are not things of the past: they continue to animate much of what passes for aboriginal policy today. Reconciliation will require more than pious words about the shortcomings of those who preceded us. It obliges us to both recognize the ways in which the legacy of residential schools continues to disfigure Canadian life and to abandon policies and approaches that currently serve to extend that hurtful legacy."



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Inmate confesses to 90 killings; investigators corroborate 30

    World News CBC News
    A man convicted of three California murders and long suspected in numerous other deaths now claims he was involved in about 90 killings nationwide spanning nearly four decades, and investigators already have corroborated about a third of those, a Texas prosecutor said Thursday. Source
  • Nursing home staffer in Kingston, Ont., charged in thefts of wedding rings

    Canada News CTV News
    KINGSTON, Ont. -- A 26-year-old woman faces theft, fraud and other charges after police say several wedding rings were stolen from nursing home residents in Kingston, Ont. Kingston police say they were called to a local nursing home on Oct. Source
  • Canada resisting UN request to extend Mali mission: sources

    World News CBC News
    The Trudeau government is reportedly resisting a United Nations request to extend Canada's peacekeeping mission in Mali so medical evacuations can continue while replacements for Canada's personnel arrive. Canada has eight helicopters and 250 military members in the sprawling West African nation to rescue injured peacekeepers and transport troops and their equipment. Source
  • Brexit omnishambles throws British government into chaos

    World News CBC News
    Welcome to The National Today newsletter, which takes a closer look at what's happening around some of the day's most notable stories. Sign up here and it will be delivered directly to your inbox Monday to Friday. Source
  • Indigenous Guardians program gets $5.7M in fed funding

    Canada News CBC News
    Ten First Nations communities from across B.C., along with 25 other Indigenous communities nationally, have been selected to receive funds for a new federally-funded environmental stewardship program. New act will boost Indigenous participation in B.C. environmental assessments Source
  • Indigenous Guardians program gets $5.7M in federal funding

    Canada News CBC News
    Ten First Nations communities from across B.C., along with 25 other Indigenous communities nationally, have been selected to receive funds for a new federally-funded environmental stewardship program. New act will boost Indigenous participation in B.C. environmental assessments Source
  • Threat made against Toronto private school at centre of sexual assault investigation, police say

    Canada News CBC News
    Toronto police have ramped up patrols after a threat was made against a Catholic boys' private school that's at the centre of a sexual assault investigation. Police did not disclose any information about the nature of the threat. Source
  • Toronto private school didn't report incident of alleged sexual assault, police say

    Canada News CBC News
    Toronto police have ramped up patrols after a threat was made against a Catholic boys' private school that's at the centre of a sexual assault investigation. Police did not disclose any information about the nature of the threat. Source
  • Florida the 'laughingstock of the world,' judge says in vote recount ruling

    World News CBC News
    A federal judge slammed Florida on Thursday for repeatedly failing to anticipate election problems and said the state law on recounts appears to violate the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that decided the presidency in 2000. U.S. Source
  • Florida senate race headed for hand recount

    World News CBC News
    A federal judge slammed Florida on Thursday for repeatedly failing to anticipate election problems and said the state law on recounts appears to violate the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that decided the presidency in 2000. U.S. Source