“They Came for the Children” – IRS TRC Talk

December 17, 2009

On Friday, December 11th, Justice Murray Sinclair, Chair of the Indian Residential School Truth and Reconciliation Commission (IRS TRC) gave a talk about the commission and its recent progress. In his talk, hosted by the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto, Justice Sinclair outlined the history that helped to create the Indian Residential School (IRS) system and the legislation that systematically disempowered Aboriginal Canadians. He went on to discuss the challenges facing the commission as it addresses the legacies of this system.

The commission’s offices are currently being set up in Winnipeg, having originally been established in Ottawa. Along with the bricks and mortar needed to establish a physical home for the TRC, the commission is also working on the symbolic foundations of the task at hand: reconciliation. Referencing Canada’s violent colonial past, Justice Sinclair asked, “What can we do to make it right?” It was clear from his talk that the commission itself is uncertain about how to answer to this question, and is weighing the potential options carefully. What is clear, however, is that the commission is open to this unfolding process, of creating dialogue among survivors, communities and the nation to bring awareness to the IRS history.

Justice Sinclair also announced that the first national event will take place from June 15 – 19, 2010 in Winnipeg. For more information, click here.

For more information and photos of the event see the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto website.

Photo credit: Diana Balogh-Tyszko

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