The Truth and Reconciliation CommissionThe 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.
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
Immediate responses to summary report by the Commission
Presentation of the summary report by Truth and Reconciliation CommissionOn June 2, 2015, Justice Murray Sinclair, Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), presented his summary report.