Indian Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission - News Release

    OTTAWA, Oct. 21 /CNW Telbec/ - Indian Residential Schools Truth and
Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Commissioners Claudette Dumont-Smith and Jane
Brewin Morley, Q.C. announced today that they were disappointed and saddened
to learn of Justice LaForme's decision to resign as Chair of the TRC,
effective October 20, 2008.
    Justice Harry LaForme, Claudette Dumont-Smith and Jane Brewin Morley,
Q.C., were appointed as Commissioners by Orders-in-Council after a selection
process involving representatives of all the parties to the Indian Residential
Schools Settlement Agreement. The Commission was established on June 1, 2008.
    "The TRC process, designed by the parties to the Settlement Agreement of
the Indian Residential Schools class action suit, is unique and has never been
tried before in Canada or the world. It is not surprising that we have had
some growing pains," commented Commissioner Dumont-Smith. "It is unfortunate
that we had not met as a Commission since August 26. Had we met more often I
am sure that we could have worked through any issues we were facing," she
    Commissioners Dumont-Smith and Morley agree that the Truth and
Reconciliation process is intended to be one of healing and reconciliation for
both the Aboriginal peoples and Canadians. "Providing an opportunity for
Indian Residential Schools survivors, who for so long have remained silent
about their experiences, to tell their stories is important for them in their
healing process. It is equally important for Canada as a nation to heal its
broken relationship with Aboriginal peoples," they said. "By listening to the
experiences of those who went to Residential Schools and reflecting on those
experiences, non-Aboriginal Canadians will reach a better understanding of
Aboriginal peoples that will lead to future relationships built on mutual
    "I am honoured to have been chosen by the parties to be a Commissioner,
and I feel a responsibility to carry on with the important task I have been
given." said Commissioner Morley from Prince George, B.C., where she is
attending a regional gathering of residential schools survivors.
    "It is clear that the parties to the Settlement Agreement wanted the
process to be centred on the survivors. I feel that I owe it to them, their
families, their communities, to all First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples in
Canada to do my best to make this process work."
    For the duration of its five year mandate, the Commission will gather
statements from survivors and others who were part of the Indian Residential
Schools experience. The TRC will hold national events across Canada to educate
the Canadian public, and will be participating in community events designed by

For further information:

For further information: Kimberly Phillips, Indian Residential Schools
Truth and Reconciliation Commission, (613) 219-5872

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