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

  • Trump's threats against North Korea leave Asia struggling for answers

    World News CTV News
    SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of - Was it a bluff? A warning that Washington would shoot down North Korea's next missile test? A restatement of past policy? Or simply just what it seemed: a straightforward threat of annihilation from the president of the United States? Source
  • Officials raise Mexico quake death toll to 226

    World News CTV News
    Mexico's civil defence agency says the death toll has risen to 226 from Tuesday's magnitude 7.1 earthquake that knocked down dozens of buildings in Mexico City and nearby states. The official Twitter feed of agency head Luis Felipe Puente said early Wednesday that 117 people were confirmed dead in Mexico City, and 55 died in Morelos state, which is just south of the capital. Source
  • Rain, relocation add to woes in Rohingya Muslim camp

    World News CTV News
    COX'S BAZAR, Bangladesh - Monsoon rains, relocations and extortion attempts are worsening the living situation in the Bangladeshi camps for Rohingya Muslims who fled Myanmar. Several Rohingya camps in this coastal city are flooded from three days of unrelenting rains. Source
  • Sentencing set for man convicted of sexually assaulting 6 girls from same family

    World News CTV News
    DOYLESTOWN, Pa. - A man convicted of sexually assaulting six girls from the same family, fathering two children with one of them, is scheduled to be sentenced in a Pennsylvania court. Fifty-two-year-old Lee Donald Kaplan will be sentenced in Bucks County court Wednesday on multiple counts of child rape, statutory sexual assault and other charges. Source
  • Ninth person dies after Florida nursing home evacuation during Irma

    World News CTV News
    HOLLYWOOD, Fla. - Police say a ninth person has died nearly a week after the evacuation of a Florida nursing home that Hurricane Irma left without air conditioning. Hollywood Police Department spokesman Miranda Grossman says in a news release that a 93-year-old man who had been a patient at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills died Tuesday. Source
  • Mueller team questions deputy attorney general amid probe of Comey firing

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON - Special counsel Robert Mueller's office has questioned Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein as it probes the firing of former FBI Director James Comey, people familiar with the matter told The Associated Press on Tuesday. Source
  • Deadly 7.1 magnitude earthquake kills 149 in central Mexico [Video]

    World News Toronto Sun
    MEXICO CITY — A magnitude 7.1 earthquake jolted central Mexico on Tuesday, collapsing some buildings, cracking the facades of others and scattering rubble on streets on the anniversary of a devastating 1985 quake. The quake caused buildings to sway sickeningly in Mexico City and sent panicked office workers streaming into the streets, but the full extent of the damage was not yet clear. Source
  • No reports of Canadian casualties in Mexico earthquake: Freeland

    World News CTV News
    OTTAWA -- Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland says there are no reports of Canadian casualties following a magnitude 7.1 earthquake that killed dozens in Mexico. The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake was centred near the Puebla state town of Raboso, about 123 kilometres southeast of Mexico City. Source
  • Deadly 7.1 magnitude earthquake kills 189 in central Mexico [Video]

    World News Toronto Sun
    MEXICO CITY — A magnitude 7.1 earthquake jolted central Mexico on Tuesday, collapsing some buildings, cracking the facades of others and scattering rubble on streets on the anniversary of a devastating 1985 quake. The quake caused buildings to sway sickeningly in Mexico City and sent panicked office workers streaming into the streets, but the full extent of the damage was not yet clear. Source
  • Would-be ISIS fighter caught threatening to bomb girlfriend's car

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    As a wannabe ISIS fighter, Ismael Habib had all the wrong moves. The Montreal native was stuck in Canada while his wife, in Syria with their children, kept bugging him to get on a plane and join the fight. Source