OTTAWA, June 28, 2011 /CNW/ - Commissioners of the Truth and
Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC), together with Residential
School survivors, government and church leaders, Canadians and
international witnesses today gathered in Inuvik, Northwest
Territories, to mark the opening of the second TRC National Event.
"One year ago, Canadians met in Winnipeg to join us on this incredible,
national journey of acknowledging Canada's shared history of
Residential Schools," said TRC Chair Justice Murray Sinclair. Today, I
am pleased to reunite in the North with many familiar and new faces as
we continue on the path of unveiling the truth and seeking
Canada's North is home to the highest ratio of residential school
survivors per capita. Until the mid-1990's, Aboriginal children across
the North were forcibly separated, (in the early years) from families
when they were sent away to Residential Schools.
Following opening ceremonies, individuals from four continents were
recognized as official Honourary Witnesses of the Northern National
Event. As the keepers of history, Honorary Witnesses will observe four
days of event proceedings. Most importantly, beyond the Inuvik event,
they will recall and share with others in their circles of influence
the historic significance of what they have witnessed.
"Having Honorary Witnesses observe the Northern National Event signals
that the eyes of the global community are watching Canada. It sends a
clear message that not only did something terrible happen to innocent
children in this country, but that it must never happen here again,"
stated TRC Commissioner Marie Wilson.
The theme of the Northern National Event, It's about Courage - A National Journey Home, was inspired by more than 550 survivors who shared their personal
experiences with the Commission earlier this year during public
hearings held in 18 communities throughout Nunavik, Nunavut, Northwest
Territories and the Yukon.
"During the Northern Hearings, so many survivors repeated to us about
how healing for many is seen as a journey home," said TRC Commissioner
Chief Wilton Littlechild. "Together, we honour and celebrate the
courage shown by survivors and welcome home those who have travelled an
often dark and painful journey."
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 130 year history
of the residential schools, and guide and inspire a process of
reconciliation and renewed relationships based on mutual understanding
To view a program agenda and live portions of the Northern National
Event via webcast, log onto www.trc.ca.
SOURCE Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada
For further information:
Nancy Pine, Senior Communications and Outreach Advisor
Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada
Cell: 613-316-5654, Email email@example.com