Head of TRC urges Canadians to confront ugly truth of residential schools

OTTAWA — The chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission into Canada’s residential schools system says Canadians must not permit discomfort with the past to shield them from the truth.

Rather, Justice Murray Sinclair says the difficult — almost incomprehensible — stories of residential school survivors should help set the course for future action, particularly in education.


Sinclair is set to deliver the commission’s report on the wrenching, five-year inquiry on Tuesday, but events leading up to the report’s release have been taking place for several days in Ottawa.

Hundreds of school survivors were among a huge crowd today at a downtown Ottawa hotel, where survivors continued to share their stories while provincial ministers began gingerly plotting a way forward.

Education is a key theme, and Northwest Territories education minister Jackson Lafferty is offering a ready-made curriculum on the residential schools and their legacy that could be taught in classrooms across the country.

Sinclair told the gathering that apologies and listening to painful histories are only a beginning, and that the next step — reconciliation — is only achievable by acting differently.


The Canadian Press