2008 - Truth and Reconciliation Commission begins

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. NCTR.ca

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 -Canada.com

Short TRC 101 intro video: AJ+

Resources for Educators: National Center for Truth and Reconciliation


High School Resources

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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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