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Commission offers 94 ways to redress ‘cultural genocide’

Truth and Reconciliation Commission makes 94 recommendations for residential school healing


 
Commission chairman Justice Murray Sinclair speaks at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Ottawa on Tuesday, June 2, 2015 . (Adrian Wyld/CP)

Commission chairman Justice Murray Sinclair speaks at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Ottawa on Tuesday, June 2, 2015 . (Adrian Wyld/CP)

OTTAWA – A long-awaited report on the horrors of Canada’s residential school system calls it nothing short of a “cultural genocide,” making 94 broad recommendations —everything from greater police independence and reducing the number of aboriginal children in foster care to restrictions on the use of conditional and mandatory minimum sentences.

The summary of the Truth and Reconciliation report, out today, is the culmination of six emotional years of extensive study into the church-run, government-funded institutions, which operated for more than 120 years.

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Poignant voices from Tuesday’s report on residential schools

The exercise has been “a difficult, inspiring and very painful journey for all of us,” said Justice Murray Sinclair, Canada’s first aboriginal justice and the commission’s chairman.

“The residential school experience is clearly one of the darkest most troubling chapters in our collective history,” Sinclair told a packed news conference Tuesday in Ottawa.

“In the period from Confederation until the decision to close residential schools was taken in this country in 1969, Canada clearly participated in a period of cultural genocide.”

The scope of the commission and its report is staggering. The full report, weighing in at six volumes and thousands of pages, will be released later this year.

Sinclair described how the commission heard from residential school survivors who were robbed of the love of their families.

“They were stripped of their self-respect and they were stripped of their identity. Their stories — more than 6,750 of them in number — will now become part of a permanent historical archive never to be forgotten or ignored.”

Alma Scott was one of thousands of survivors who recounted her experience to the commission. She described being taken to a school in Fort Alexander, Man., at the age of five.

“We gotten taken away by a big truck. I can still remember my mom and dad looking at us,” Scott said in her testimony.

“I just remember feeling really sad, and I was in this truck full of other kids who were crying, and so I cried with them.”

The commission also listened to the stories of those who worked at or administered the residential schools. Many of those men and women are still haunted by what they witnessed, and filled with regret at having been part of the system, Sinclair said.

“We heard the pain of those charged with the care of those children. We heard of the demons that they face for not being able to care for them properly or to protect them from the abusers.”

The TRC’s summary also makes clear that the expectations of the aboriginal community in the wake of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s historic apology for the residential-school tragedy in 2008 have not yet been met.

“The promise of reconciliation, which seemed so imminent back in 2008 when the prime minister, on behalf of all Canadians, apologized to survivors has faded,” it says. “Without truth, justice and healing, there can be no genuine reconciliation.”

Sinclair said he was scheduled to sit down with Harper later Tuesday.

The TRC report calls on the federal government to launch a national inquiry into the number of missing and murdered aboriginal women. It also goes so far as to recommend additional CBC funding, a statutory holiday to honour survivors and an apology from the Pope on behalf of the Roman Catholic Church.

More than 130 residential schools operated across Canada and the federal government has estimated at least 150,000 First Nation, Metis and Inuit students passed through the system. The last school, located outside of Regina, closed in 1996.

A centre at the University of Manitoba will become the permanent home for all statements, documents and materials gathered by the commission. It is scheduled to open this summer.

Other key recommendations:

— That federal, provincial, territorial and municipal governments fully adopt and implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as the “framework for reconciliation”;

— That governments acknowledge the current state of aboriginal health in Canada is “a direct result of previous Canadian government policies including residential schools”;

— That the federal government establish a statutory holiday to honour survivors, their families and communities;

— That the federal government establish a written policy reaffirming independence of the RCMP to investigate crimes where government may be an interested party.

 

Executive Summary

Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Executive Summary by Maclean’s Magazine

Principles

Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Principles by Maclean’s Magazine

Survivors Speak

Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Survivors Speak by Maclean’s Magazine

Calls to Action

Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action by Maclean’s Magazine


 

Commission offers 94 ways to redress ‘cultural genocide’

  1. It is more than time to straighten this out, and we should be beyond embarrassed that we allowed this to happen in the first place.

    Canada should be a first world country for everyone.

    • Yep, Ottawa screwed everyone, and FN will assure you, your kids, you grand kids and unborn will pay for eternity it even though you an I never had any say or vote int he issue ever. They don’t want solutions, they want the GREED OF OTHER PEOPLES MONEY FOR NOTHING BUT WASTE.

      But you know taxpayer abuse and waste of taxes is a national Canadian sport. Ok to enslave people with taxes for racism, waste, bailout corruption, greed….

      Canada is a morally despicable depraved nation really.

  2. I read it. How do they suggest paying for all this? Enslave mainstram society forever to eternity to feed our money to FN? Isn’t that race based tax slavery?

    Fact is I didn’t do anything. I didn’t force them to reserves to be excludes from society. I didn’t school them to hate mainstream society. I didn’t have so much idle time to get into trouble, I was too busy working hard paying taxes so I could get some chage left over. I worked for it.

    What do these people do for Canada besides entitlement RACISM for other peoples money? Its a fair question as the tax slave vclass has to produce or do without. What makes these racists so special?

    Why should we, our kids, grand kids and unborn have to pay for this dysfunctional system of loonacy?

    • Funny no one asks that about F-35s.

      Now cough up the rent money.

  3. And you can be sure that every single recommendation from the Inquiry will have a bill attached to it and addressed to the people who pay taxes.

    Let’s assume that each and every one of us will have to pay an additional $100 yer month to “atone” for something we had nothing to do with.

    Given that the aboriginal birthrate is more than 3 times the average……how long before we simply just collect our paycheque and send it to the nearest reserve?

    sorry my native brethren…..our ancestors treated you like crap, but it was still better treatment than the treatment you received by your fellow natives before we arrived.

    We said sorry….and we are, but we can’t afford to support you for eternity. At some point, you need to look after yourself.

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