OTTAWA, Feb. 24, 2012 /CNW/ - Following a three day national forum on
First Nations driving change toward safe and thriving communities,
Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo
welcomed the interim report today released by the Truth and
Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC), further calling for a
commitment by governments and all Canadians to engage in concrete
"In this interim report, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission draws
important conclusions and points to clear steps toward reconciliation,"
said AFN National Chief Shawn Atleo. "Real reconciliation, though, is
achieved through action and change. We must all work together to
ensure these important recommendations are implemented in ways that
address the needs of all residential schools survivors and families,
and to ensure that from now on education will only be used to support
and improve the continued and sustained success of First Nations as an
investment in Canada's collective future."
In its 30 page report, citing 20 recommendations, the TRC concludes the
Indian residential school system constituted an assault on First Nation
children, families, culture and communities. The report also
highlights the importance of recognizing the unique legal status of
First Nations as the original peoples of Canada, encouraging all levels
of government to work with First Nations based on this understanding.
Specific recommendations include support for health and healing of all
survivors, the need for culture and language programming, parenting
supports, access to documents, and records as well as restoring funding
to the Aboriginal Healing Foundation.
"While we support all survivors and their families on their individual
healing journeys, we must at the same time turn the page on this dark
chapter of our shared history and work toward a future that unleashes
the full potential of our peoples in this country," said National Chief
Atleo. "By acting now in mutual respect, support and partnership we
can and will achieve a better day for First Nations in this country -
where First Nation education is reflective of our strong languages,
cultures and traditions and supports our success at every level."
The AFN National Justice Forum gathered more than 600 delegates in
Vancouver this week, with focused discussion and strategic dialogue in
the development of a national justice strategy and action plan for
ending violence against Indigenous women and girls. Many delegates
referenced the importance of healing and reconciliation, as well as
support for cultures and languages stripped from First Nations during
the operation of residential schools.
TRC Chair Justice Murray Sinclair and Commissioners Chief Wilton
Littlechild and Marie Wilson released the interim report at a news
conference in Vancouver this morning.
As outlined in the Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement, the
TRC 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. The TRC will document the truth of what happened by
relying on records held by those who operated and funded the schools,
testimony from officials of the institutions that operated the schools,
and experiences reported by survivors, their families, communities and
anyone personally affected by the residential school experience and its
The Assembly of First Nation is the national organization representing
First Nation citizens in Canada. Follow AFN on Twitter @NCAtleo, @AFN_Comms, @AFN_Updates.
SOURCE ASSEMBLY OF FIRST NATIONS
For further information:
Alain Garon, AFN Bilingual Communications Officer 613-241-6789, ext 382 or cell: 613-292-0857 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Jenna Young, AFN Communications Officer 613-241-6789, ext 401 or cell: 613-314-8157 or email@example.com