Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada

… a core concept in Governance and Institutions and Atlas100

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Concept description

Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC, reference below) describes a key purpose of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC – link to website on right) as providing those directly or indirectly affected by the legacy of the Indian Residential Schools system with an opportunity to share their stories and experiences.

The official mandate for the TRC can be found at http://www.trc.ca/websites/trcinstitution/File/pdfs/SCHEDULE_N_EN.pdf (accessed 30 September 2016).

Executive Summary and Calls to Action

INAC’s description of the TRC background and process (reference below):

“The Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, the largest class-action settlement in Canadian history, began to be implemented in 2007. One of the elements of the agreement was the establishment of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada to facilitate reconciliation among former students, their families, their communities and all Canadians. …

“Between 2007 and 2015, the Government of Canada provided about $72 million to support the TRC‘s work. The TRC spent six years travelling to all parts of Canada and heard from more than 6,500 witnesses. The TRC also hosted seven national events across Canada to engage the Canadian public, educate people about the history and legacy of the residential schools system, and share and honour the experiences of former students and their families.

“The Truth and Reconciliation Commission created a historical record of the residential schools system. As part of this process, the Government of Canada provided over five million records to the TRC. The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation at the University of Manitoba will house all of the documents collected by the TRC.

“In June 2015, the TRC held its Closing Event in Ottawa and presented the Executive Summary of the findings contained in its multi-volume Final Report, including 94 “calls to action” (or recommendations) to further reconciliation between Canadians and Indigenous Peoples.

“In December 2015, the TRC released its entire six-volume Final Report. All Canadians are encouraged to read the summary or the Final Report to learn more about the terrible history of Indian Residential Schools and its sad legacy.

“For more information please visit the Truth and Reconciliation Commission website.”

Next steps for the Government of Canada

The INAC website (last updated 5 August 2016, reference below) states:

“The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Final Report is a testament to the courage of each and every survivor and family member who shared their story.

“As part of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accepted the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission on behalf of Canada.

“The Government of Canada continues to be committed to a renewed nation-to-nation relationship with Indigenous Peoples based on recognition, rights, respect, co-operation and partnership. The Government of Canada will work closely with provinces, territories, First Nations, the Métis Nation, Inuit groups and church entities to implement recommendations of the TRC and further reconciliation to the benefit of all Canadians. This will include the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

“The Government of Canada also recognizes that true reconciliation goes beyond the scope of the Commission’s recommendations. The Prime Minister announced that Canada will work with leaders of First Nations, the Métis Nation, Inuit, provinces and territories, parties to the Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement, and other key partners, to design a national engagement strategy for developing and implementing a national reconciliation framework, informed by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s recommendations.

“As an important step in rebuilding Canada’s relationship with Indigenous Peoples, the Prime Minister of Canada will also meet with leaders of the National Aboriginal Organizations on December 16, 2015, in Ottawa to continue the dialogue on reconciliation.

“There are already a number of activities underway in the Government of Canada to further reconciliation, including the inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls which is a TRC recommendation.”

Prime Minister’s progress report

In his December 2016 Speech to the Assembly of First Nations Special Chiefs Assembly, Prime Minister Trudeau (reference below) stated:

 “My government supports the 94 calls to action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The work the Commission has done is some of the most important work ever in this country.  Each of the 94 needs to be implemented.

“Indeed, as the one-year anniversary approaches, I am pleased to confirm that progress is underway on 36 of the 45 calls to action that are under solely federal purview.

“We all know that addressing them thoroughly and with due diligence will take time.  I understand that many of you in this room are impatient. I know many of the people you serve are impatient. I am impatient too. But I’m encouraged by the meaningful progress we’ve already made.

“In May, Minister Bennett went to the UN to make clear our government’s unqualified support for the United Nations Declaration for the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.  We remain committed to its adoption and implementation in full partnership and in consultation with Indigenous Peoples.

“I have asked Minister Wilson-Raybould to lead the work collectively with her Cabinet colleagues and First Nations, the Métis Nation and Inuit Peoples to ensure that this gets done.”

Sources

Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, at http://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1450124405592/1450124456123#pe, accessed 30 September 2016.

Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, Home, at http://www.trc.ca/websites/trcinstitution/index.php?p=3, accessed 30 September 2016.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (2016), Speech to the Assembly of First Nations Special Chiefs Assembly, at http://pm.gc.ca/eng/news/2016/12/06/prime-minister-justin-trudeaus-speech-assembly-first-nations-special-chiefs-assembly, accessed 11 February 2017.

Topic, subject and Atlas course

Indigenous Governance in Governance and Institutions and Atlas100.

Page created by: Ian Clark, last modified on 11 February 2017.

Image: Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, Home, at http://www.trc.ca/websites/trcinstitution/index.php?p=3, accessed 30 September 2016.