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2008 - Truth and Reconciliation Commission begins

January 2, 2008

 The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) begins on June 2, 2008. It was organized through the  Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement. The commission was part of a holistic and comprehensive response to the abuse inflicted on Indigenous peoples through the Indian residential school system, and the harmful legacy of those institutions.


The TRC of Canada was built following the models of similar commissions in Chile and South Africa. The focus of truth is in telling the stories of the survivors of Indian residential schools. The commission has been criticized for using the term "reconciliation," as it implies that there was ever a harmonious and equitable relationship between the Indigenous peoples of Canada and those who settled this country. "The use of the term reconciliation perpetuates that myth by continuing to deny "the existence of pre-contact Aboriginal sovereignty".- Imaginary Spaces of Conciliation and Reconciliation


An estimated 150,000 aboriginal children attended residential schools. The TRC has estimated that at least 3200 of those children died while in care of residential schools. Approximately 70,000 former IRS students are still alive, and of that population, there were 31,970 sexual or serious sexual assault cases resolved by independent assessment process. 5,995 claims were still in progress as of the report's release. - CBC


Calls to Action: Truth and Reconciliation Commission


Video: Mike DeGagne - A Call to Action: Understanding the Truth and Reconciliation Commission



Digging Deeper


The Truth and Reconciliation Commission documents: Reports and Findings


Podcast: Connie Walker and the first­hand legacy of residential schools - CBC


Article: At least 4,000 aboriginal children died in residential schools, commission finds



Short TRC 101 intro video: AJ+













Resources for Educators: National Center for Truth and Reconciliation

High School Resources



Junior High School Resources



Elementary School Resources



My heart fills with Happiness 

Monique Gray Smith,

Illustrated by Julie Flett

Ages 0-5

This book encourages wellness in Indigenous children and families 




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