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1996 - Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, or RCAP, issues its final report.

November 2, 1996

The Royal Commission was established in 1991, in response to a growing awareness of issues


within the Aboriginal community in Canada, brought to a head by situations such as The Oka Crisis.  The final report came out after five years of investigation and research in 1996. One entire chapter is dedicated to residential schools. The 4,000-page document makes 440 recommendations calling for changes in the relationship between Aboriginal, non-Aboriginals, and governments in Canada. It contained recommendations for dealing with a breadth of issues, including self-governance, treaties, health, housing, the north, economic development and education.


Members of the Commission traveled to Aboriginal communities to interview Aboriginal peoples on their past and current condition. The five-volume, 4,000-page report covered a vast range of issues; its 440 recommendations called for sweeping changes to the relationship between Aboriginal, non-Aboriginal people and the governments in Canada. - INAC


Of the 440 recommendations called for by the RCAP, a small fraction have been implemented since 1996. The commission intended to "help restore justice to the relationship between aboriginal and non-aboriginal people in Canada, and to propose practical solutions to stubborn problems,"(RCAP) 


The lack of success of the 440 recommendations by the RCAP, resulted in the call for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. -


Digging Deeper



High School Resources



Junior High School Resources



Elementary School Resources



When We Were Alone, 

David A. Robertson, Illustrated by Julie Flett

"When a young girl helps tend to her grandmother’s garden, she begins to notice things that make her curious. Why does her grandmother have long, braided hair and beautifully colored clothing? Why does she speak another language and spend so much time with her family? As she asks her grandmother about these things, she is told about life in a residential school a long time ago, where all of these things were taken away. When We Were Alone is a story about a difficult time in history, and, ultimately, one of empowerment and strength. Ages 4–8." - Indigenous Reads





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