A Week for Reconciliation

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada has a mandate to learn the truth about what happened in the residential schools and to inform all Canadians about what happened in the schools.

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Residential Schools for Aboriginal people in Canada date back to the 1870s. Over 130 residential schools were located across the country. The last school closed in 1996.

These government-funded, church-run schools were set up to eliminate parental involvement in the intellectual, cultural, and spiritual development of Aboriginal children.

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During this era, more than 150,000 First Nations, Métis, and Inuit children were placed in these schools often against their parents’ wishes.

In 2011, the Commission published a report about the Indian Residential Schools.

(Download a copy here.)

Screen shot 2013-09-14 at 2.14.37 PMIt is a heartbreaking read.

Canada’s relationships with Aboriginal people haa suffered as a result of the Indian Residential School system. It is part of a shared history that is not well understood by many. Healing and repairing that relationship requires education, awareness, and increased understanding of the legacy and the impacts still being felt for everyone involved in that relationship.

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The Commission is hosting 7 national events across Canada, to engage the Canadian public and provide education about the IRS system, the experience of former students and their families and the ongoing legacies of the institutions within communities. There will also be opportunities to honour those touched by residential schools.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada is holding its BC National event in Vancouver this week.

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All events are open to the public.  There are opportunities for residential school survivors to tell their story and contribute to the healing and reconciliation process.  There are also opportunities for non-aboriginal people to participate, learn, and engage in the reconciliation process.  This is a historic event and an opportunity for everyday citizens to contribute to acknowledging the past and moving forward with respect and dignity.  Will you participate?

Health Support Services for Former Indian Residential Schools Students

A Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line (1-866-925-4419) is available 24 hours a day for anyone experiencing pain or distress as a result of his or her residential school experience.

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