Statement of the Commissioners of the Indian Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission concerning the apology to be made by the Prime Minister in the House of Commons on June 11, 2008



    OTTAWA, June 8 /CNW Telbec/ - The federal government has announced that
on June 11, the Prime Minister will make a statement of apology to former
students of Indian Residential Schools in the House of Commons.
    June 11 has the potential of being a defining date for Canada. The making
of this much needed apology offers all Canadians, through the Prime Minister,
an opportunity to acknowledge the truth of this aspect of our common past.
Equally importantly, it provides us all with an opportunity to commit
ourselves to a shared future in which the relationship between aboriginal and
non-aboriginal Canadians is grounded in respect for human dignity.
    The Indian Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission was
established June 1. It is a court-mandated Commission, which is the result of
an agreement amongst residential school survivors and representatives of
aboriginal people, churches and the government of Canada. The Commission is
charged with the tasks of assisting Canadians to know and understand the truth
of our Indian Residential School legacy and of promoting reconciliation
through new relationships embedded in mutual recognition and respect.
    The Commission is in the very early stages of its mandate. As the
Commissioners we are committed to listening, with open minds and hearts, to
the stories and other histories of the Indian Residential School experience
and legacy.
    Especially at this early point in our work, we cannot speak for the
generations past, present and future whose lives have been, and will be,
touched by the Indian Residential School experience. However, we can say even
at this early stage that an apology is essential if reconciliation is to be
achieved. A real and profoundly sincere apology that forthrightly acknowledges
the destructive darkness of the Indian Residential School experience and
commits Canadians to a bright future in which the continuing legacy of that
experience will be left forever behind us would represent a positive step
along the path to reconciliation.

    Justice Harry LaForme, Chair
    Claudette Dumont-Smith, Commissioner
    Jane Brewin Morley, Q.C., Commissioner




For further information:

For further information: Kimberly Phillips, Truth and Reconciliation
Commission Secretariat, (613) 219-5872, www.trc-cvr.ca; Nancy Pine, Truth and
Reconciliation Commission Secretariat, (613) 316-5654, www.trc-cvr.ca

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TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION COMMISSION

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