71. We call upon all chief coroners and provincial vital statistics agencies that have not provided to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada their records on the deaths of Aboriginal children in the care of residential school authorities to make these documents available to the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation.
“The high death rates in the schools were, in part, a reflection of the high death rates among the Aboriginal community in general. Indian Affairs officials often tried to portray these rates as simply the price that Aboriginal people had to pay as part of the process of becoming civilized. In reality, these rates were the price they paid for being colonized.” – Report by National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation
There is a very slim chance that there will ever be an absolute number of the children who died at residential schools, whether it be due to poor documentation or destroyed documentation. Regardless, as means to provide the utmost justice and closure for families it is necessary for responsible government to establish such research. The atrocities committed to these children remain open wounds of their families; failing to provide such crucial data would cause the familiar perpetuation of aboriginal ignorance.
The Star – How many First Nations kids died in residential schools? Justice Murray Sinclair says Canada needs answers.<http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2015/05/31/how-many-first-nations-kids-died-in-residential-schools-justice-murray-sinclair-says-canada-needs-answers.html>
CBC News – Residential school findings point to “cultural genocide”. <http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/residential-schools-findings-point-to-cultural-genocide-commission-chair-says-1.3093580>
Compiled by: Véronique Russell