The seventh National Event of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), this one with the theme “Wisdom”, is being held in Edmonton from March 27th to 30th. Some of it will be live-streamed on the TRC website.
Background to this event was given in the Programme’s “Welcome” message from the three Commissioners: Justice Murray Sinclair, Chief Wilton Littlechild, and Dr. Marie Wilson.
TRC events provide an important opportunity for those affected by the legacy of the Indian Residential Schools to share their experiences with the Commission and the public. They also serve to educate Canadians about the country’s 130-year history of residential schools, and their legacy for Aboriginal communities and Canadian society as a whole.
This TRC National Event is the seventh and final National Event mandated by the 2007 Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement.
In preparation, the TRC has held public hearings in Red Deer, Slave Lake, High Level, Maskwacis (formerly Hobbema), Lethbridge and Calgary.
Survivors from these and adjacent communities shared their experiences with the Commission in public and private sessions. Most of these hearings were webcast on www.trc.ca, where the Alberta National Event will also be webcast, with large numbers of people tuning in from all over the world . Survivors and their family members shared many personal and emotional truths, as well as hope for change and reconciliation.
In this same spirit of openness, the TRC Alberta National Event in Edmonton will offer a unique opportunity for all Canadians, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal, to hear first-hand the experiences of those who attended the schools, to bear witness to the legacy of the residential school system, and to celebrate Aboriginal culture.
A timeline of the history of Residential Schools, with a focus on the experiences in Alberta, was published in an article “Timeline of residential schools and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission” in the Edmonton Journal.
For more information about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Residential Schools, and the churches involvement with them and the reconciliation process, see this website’s Truth and Reconciliation page.