Catholic Church of Montreal > News > Topics > Truth and Reconciliation Commission

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission

The National Event of Québec (NEQ) of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) on residential schools was held in Montreal from 24 to 27 April 2013.

The words heard at this major event are all references to the extreme uprooting experienced by Aboriginal children, from an early 19th century until 1996.

Genocide

To better understand the magnitude of what many consider today to be the genocide of a culture, we must comprehend the impact of these native children forced to leave their parents behind, as well as their communities.  Some children were merely infants as young as three years old. They would spend the school year in residential schools.

Required to wear non-native clothing and forbidden to speak in their native language, their Aboriginal culture and spiritual traditions systematically denigrated. From coast to coast, the white Canadians imposed their culture on those who were native to this land. At the end of the school year, the children returned home. Often, they no longer had the ability to communicate with their family, having lost the skills to speak in their native language.

The physical existence of such schools was added to the list of abuses*, which include sexual abuse and physical violence.

Churches as well as Canadian society over all, participated in this cultural death. These articles attempt to illustrate the various elements which contributed to this tragedy. Foremost, the church is seen as a cog in the political machine of colonization, which forced assimilation and the government's theft of their land.

* In reference to the letter of apology of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, 1991



Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission made public on December 15, 2015, its final report documenting the history and legacy of Canada's residential school system.

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Immediate responses to summary report by the Commission

Immediately following the presentation of the summary report by Justice Murray Sinclair, Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), on June 2, 2015, the Most Reverend Gerard Pettipas, C.Ss.R., Archbishop of Grouard-McLennan and President of the corporation of Catholic Entities party to the Indian Residential Schools Settlement (CEPIRSS), released a statement.

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Presentation of the summary report by Truth and Reconciliation Commission

On June 2, 2015, Justice Murray Sinclair, Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), presented his summary report.

Summary report

Aboriginal Residential Schools: A Wail of Anguish

"Killing the indian in the child": That was the goal of Canadian society. Consequences are visible today.

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Churches, a Cog in the Colonial Machine

Churches did not play expected role in residential school education. However, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission says there was some good.

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Religious Community and Residential Schools: an Example

"We apologize for the part that we played in the cultural, ethnic, linguistic, and religious imperialism" - The Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI).

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A Face of History

"The priest should be willing to die for you rather than to become an abuser." Jacques Laliberté, OMI, consoles a victim.

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Sharing Circle: "The Heart of the Event"

'Let it register', and be touched with what was experienced" - Archbishop Christian Lépine.

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Survivors and Families: Being Enlightened

Survivor, Madeleine Basile, relates the healing process to climbing a mountain. Coming together at the peak for reconciliation.

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Interview with Brian McDonough

Director of the Social Action Office of the Catholic Church of Montreal and member of the Regional Advisory Committee of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, here is an interview with Brian McDonough.

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Photo Album

Here are some pictures of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.  

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Residential school: to go further

For awareness and understanding of History, few resources available on the web.

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