TRC ANNOUNCES PLANS FOR NORTHERN HEARINGS IN 19 COMMUNITIES LEADING UP TO INUVIK NATIONAL EVENT JUNE 28 - JULY 1, 2011

YELLOWKNIFE, Jan. 12 /CNW/ - The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) today announced it will hold northern hearings scheduled in 19 communities throughout the regions of Nunavik, Nunavut, Northwest Territories and the Yukon.  The northern hearings begin on March 15 in Inukjuak, Quebec and end in Watson Lake, Yukon on May 27, 2011. (See full schedule below.)

"The northern hearings are an opportunity for Residential School survivors, who might not otherwise be able to come to us, to speak up, be heard and inform the Commission and Canadians of the unique experiences of children who attended Residential Schools in Canada's North," said TRC Chair Justice Murray Sinclair

The TRC intends to inform the public about the Commission's work and statement gathering process, and provide survivors with time to reflect and share their experiences in lead up to the TRC's second National Event to be held in Inuvik, NWT on June 28 - July 1, 2011.

"The north is home to several diverse groups of people, mixes of cultures living together in this region with their own practices and history," stated Marie Wilson, TRC Commissioner. "It is important that we come away with a better understanding of the lingering impacts of Residential Schools in northern communities in order to lay the groundwork that will move us beyond the truth telling of experiences to revealing gestures of reconciliation."

In addition to the northern hearings and Inuvik National Event, there will be ongoing opportunities for survivors and communities to participate as the TRC process unfolds during the next four years.

"The communities selected to participate in the northern hearings were compiled with careful consideration of the need for regional and cultural representation as well as a focus on areas with high concentrations of survivors," added Commissioner Wilson.  "However, some smaller communities of historic significance in relation to the Residential Schools experience in the north are also reflected in the hopes of providing a greater understanding."

Details of the northern hearings were unveiled by the Commissioners while attending the TRC Yellowknife office opening at 5114 49th Street. 

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission was established as a result of the 2007 Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement. Its mandate is to inform all Canadians about what happened in the 150 year history of the Residential Schools, and guide and inspire a process of reconciliation and renewed relationships based on mutual understanding and respect.

Additional information about the TRC is available at www.trc.ca or by calling 1 (888) TRC-5554.

NORTHERN HEARINGS SCHEDULE

1 Inukjuak, Nunavik, Quebec                                                                                               
March 15 - full day and evening of truth sharing and private statement gathering
2 Kuujjuaq, Nunavik, Quebec                                                                                               
March 17 - full day and evening of truth sharing and private statement gathering                                                              
3 Rankin Inlet, Nunavut                                                                                          
March 22 - full day and evening of truth sharing and private statement gathering
4 Chesterfield Inlet, Nunavut                  
March 23 -evening of truth sharing and private statement gathering                                                                                                                                                                                          
March 24 - morning site tour
5 Igloolik, Nunavut                                                                                                 
March 25 - full day and evening of truth sharing and private statement gathering
6 Iqaluit, Nunavut                                                                                                   
March 28 - full day and evening of truth sharing and private statement gathering                                                              
7 Cambridge Bay, Nunavut                     
April 12 - full day of truth sharing and private statement gathering
8 Kugluktuk, Nunavut                            
April 13 - evening of truth sharing and private statement gathering
9 Yellowknife, NWT                               
April 14 - afternoon and evening of truth sharing and private statement gathering
10 Behchoko, NWT                                  
April 15 - afternoon and evening of truth sharing and private statement gathering                                                             
11 Fort Providence, NWT                        
April 26 - full day and evening of truth sharing
April 27  - morning community presentation
12 Fort Resolution, NWT                         
April 28 - full day and evening of truth sharing
13 Fort Smith, NWT                                 
April 29 - evening of truth sharing and private statement gathering                                                             
14 Tulita, NWT                                     
May 10 - full day and evening of truth sharing and private statement gathering                                                
15 Aklavik, NWT                                            
May 12 - afternoon and evening of truth sharing and private statement gathering
16 Whitehorse, Yukon                               
May 23 - full day and evening of truth sharing and private statement gathering                                                                                                                                      
17 Dawson City, Yukon                                      
May 24 - evening of truth sharing and private statement gathering
May 25 - morning of private statement gathering, community tour and presentation
18 Carcross, Yukon                                         
May 26 - full day and evening of truth sharing and private statement gathering
19 Watson Lake, Yukon                                  
May 27- evening of truth sharing and private statement gathering


SOURCE Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada

For further information:

Nancy Pine, Senior Communications and Outreach Advisor, Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, 613-947-4647 office, 613-316-5654 cell, or email nancy.pine@trc.ca

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