TORONTO, May 26, 2015 /CNW/ - In the lead-up to the release of The Truth and Reconciliation Commission's (TRC) final report, Ontario's Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth is urging every Ontarian to participate or organize a walk of reconciliation.
"Reconciliation is a struggle for every Canadian. The Indian Residential School Settlement was a watershed moment for Aboriginal peoples and for Canada. The impending release of the TRC's final report is the opportunity for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples to move forward with the history of this country and to devise a strategy that will lead us towards a path of reconciliation and healing," said Irwin Elman, Ontario's Child and Youth Advocate. "All Canadians owe a debt of gratitude to the Commission for its work in gathering the stories of survival and in bringing into the light of day the 'collective soul wound' shared by survivors and their families. Further, healing is needed for the children taken and the children still struggling to survive the realities of intergenerational trauma."
Events to mark the closing of the Commission's work will be held in Ottawa from May 31-June 3, 2015. On Sunday, May 31st, the TRC will hold its Walk for Reconciliation in Ottawa to bring together Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples, elected officials, child advocates and others to mark this historic event. Other walks will be held in cities and towns across the country.
"I encourage every Ontarian to take the time to participate in a walk for reconciliation this Sunday," said Elman. "We are at a turning point in this country's history as we now shift our focus towards a path of reconciliation and healing. We must ensure that the conversation started through the work of survivors and the TRC does not end here. If it does, then we have failed the children, families, and the communities of Aboriginal peoples who have shared themselves and their stories of survival."
Established in 2009, the Commission's mandate is to document and inform all Canadians about what happened in Indian Residential Schools and to guide Aboriginal peoples and Canadians in a process of reconciliation and renewed relationships.
To participate in the Walk of Reconciliation on May 31st in Ottawa, visit: May 31st walk
For tips on how to organize a walk of reconciliation, visit the TRC's website at: Tip sheet for organizing walks
About the Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth
The Office of the Provincial Advocate reports directly to the Legislature and provides an independent voice for children and youth, including children with special needs and First Nations children. The advocates receive and respond to concerns from children, youth and families who are seeking or receiving services under the Child and Family Services Act and the Education Act (Provincial and Demonstration Schools). The Provincial Advocate may identify systemic problems involving children, conduct reviews and provide education and advice on the issue of advocacy and the rights of children. The Office is guided by the principles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and has a strong commitment to youth involvement.
SOURCE Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth
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