The first event of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) began in Winnipeg in 2010 with residential school survivors lighting a sacred fire where the Red and Assiniboine Rivers meet; the last one ended in Ottawa on June 3 with children leading the way out of Rideau Hall and into a garden of paper hearts.
Acknowledging that their apologies for harms done at Indian residential schools “are not enough,” Anglican, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic and United church leaders on June 2 welcomed the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC) recommendations that they say will offer direction to their “continuing commitment to reconciliation” with Indigenous peoples.
A journey of six years reached its climax on June 2 when the summary of the final report of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was presented to a crowded audience in the Grand Ballroom of Ottawa’s Delta hotel.
Addressing what it described as a “cultural genocide” inflicted for over a century on Canada’s Aboriginal peoples, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) on June 2 issued 94 wide-ranging “Calls to Action,” including the creation of a National Council for Reconciliation, a Royal Proclamation and Covenant on Reconciliation and an apology from the Pope for the Roman Catholic Church’s role in residential schools.
A panel of five speakers looked at ways to inspire reconciliation during a late-afternoon discussion June 1 as part of the four-days of events marking the close of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Ottawa.
“My mom and dad didn’t tell us why they were putting us on the train. I thought they were coming with us,” said Clara Fergus, a Cree woman from northern Manitoba to a sharing circle on the morning of June 1, at the beginning of the final event of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).
In its final report, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) issued 94 calls to action that it said would “redress the legacy of residential schools and advance the process of Canadian reconciliation.”
At the conclusion of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s (TRC) six-year work of collecting testimonies and facts around the Indian residential schools, its chair Justice Murray Sinclair urged Canadians to believe not only that healing and reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people can happen, but that “it should happen.”