Posts Tagged “Legacy”
- We call upon the Government of Canada to repeal Section 43 of the Criminal Code of Canada.
6. Call to action number six calls upon the government of Canada to remove section 43 of the criminal code of Canada as it allows parents and teachers to use “reasonable force” against a child in order to correct behaviour. This is a concern because it offers a defence to parents or teachers who physically abuse children in their care. The implementation of this would be a simple as revising section 43 of the criminal code of Canada, which is something that many believe to be outdated as it stands today.
Compiled by: Chris Vanderburgh
26. We call upon the federal, provincial, and territorial governments to review and amend their respective statutes of limitations to ensure that they conform to the principle that governments and other entities cannot rely on limitation defences to defend legal actions of historical abuse brought to Aboriginal people.
Ensure that federal, provincial and territorial governments are aware that statutes of limitations may not be used as a defence for those who have historically abused as an Aboriginal.
- “We call upon church parties to the Settlement Agreement to develop ongoing education strategies to ensure that their respective congregations learn about their church’s role in colonization, the history and legacy of residential schools, and why apologies to former residential school students, their families, and communities were necessary.”
What this means: We want the Church Parties involved in the Settlement Agreement to ensure that their followers and congregations know about their involvement in the history and legacy of residential schools so that this issue is made transparent and the people involved, made aware. This will ensure that the policies carried out in the name of reconciliation are done so without lack of knowledge and ignorance and the reasons for reconciliation are properly understood by all parties involved
Compiled by: Irfana Hameed
63. We call upon the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada to maintain an annual commitment to Aboriginal education issues, including:
i. Developing and implementing Kindergarten to Grade Twelve curriculum and learning resources on Aboriginal peoples in Canadian history, and the history and legacy of residential schools.
ii. Sharing information and best practices on teaching curriculum related to residential schools and Aboriginal history.
iii. Building student capacity for intercultural understanding, empathy, and mutual respect.
iv. Identifying teacher-training needs relating to the above.
This TRC call to action asks for the commitment of the Council of Ministers of Education in Canada to maintain a commitment to Aboriginal education issues; from creating and applying the use of K-12 curriculum and learning resources on Aboriginal peoples Canadian history, including the tragic history of residential schools. To developing an intercultural understanding, and identifying appropriate teacher-training needs to address these issues.
The Website for the Council of Ministers of Education in Canada in its Programs and Initiatives section detailing the current programs and initiatives. It also presents four overarching goals for education in Canada, ministers have identified key activity areas on which they will focus collaboratively through CMEC. Click below for more information.
70. We call upon the federal government to provide funding to the Canadian Association of Archivists to undertake, in collaboration with Aboriginal peoples, a nation review of archival policies and best practices to:
i. Determine the level of compliance with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People and the United Nations Joinet-Orentlicher Principles, as related to Aboriginal peoples’ inalienable right to know the truth about what happened and why, with regard to human rights violations committed against them in residential schools.
ii. Produce a report with recommendations for full implementation of these international mechanisms as a reconciliation framework for Canadian Archives.
“In a modern, highly developed country like Canada, it is almost unimaginable that so many indigenous peoples must grapple daily with chronic conditions of disadvantage, including discrimination, neglect, and deep multi-generational trauma. I believe this to be one of the most pressing human rights issues facing Canada today.” – David Langtry, Acting Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC)
This TRC call focuses on Archival practices and policies surrounding reconciliation and compliance with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People as well as the United Nations Joinet-Orentlicher Principles. This recommendations calls upon the federal government to evaluate the role of the Canadian Association of Archivists and various Archives around Canada to meet a standard that established through collaborations with Aboriginal peoples. Further, any changes made to meet this standard would be subsidized by the federal government. The second portion of this recommendation calls for the creation of a report that would essentially grade Canadian Archives based on their implementation of international mechanisms to practice policies that will foster reconciliation. It is important for Archives to meet the standards of both the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the United Nations Joinet-Orentlicher Principles in both their practices of processing records, the holding of records and marketing of these records so they be accessible to the public. The Aboriginal Archives Guide by the Association of Canadian Archivists is now outdated (2007) , though it contains information that continues to be valuable today. One of the greatest challenges of Aboriginal records in Archives across Canada continues due to the recording and holding of oral traditions. This guide discusses both written records as well as oral records. Because most written Aboriginal records are from the European perspective, perhaps there needs to be more national push for the collection and preservation of Aboriginal oral records in Archives across the country.
- Aboriginal Archives Guide by the Association of Canadian Archivists <http://archivists.ca/sites/default/files/Attachments/Outreach_attachments/Aboriginal_Archives_English_WEB.pdf>
- Archives Canada Virtual Exhibits < http://www.archivescanada.ca/english/virtual/search.asp>
Compiled by: Emily Macleod
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
72. We call upon the federal government to allocate sufficient resources to the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation to allow it to develop and maintain the National Residential School Student Death Register established by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.
“We think that we have not uncovered anywhere near what the total [number of deaths of children in residential schools] would be because the record keeping around that question was very poor” – Justice Murray Sinclair
In order for families to obtain closure for the gruesome and tragic losses, all existing records need to be provided to the Truth and Reconciliation Committee. This action will allow those who have lost members of their families to access information they have always wanted and needed to move forward. All information needs to be made accessible to the public as well. By creating such a register, Canadians will have the opportunity to become educated and enlighten others who don’t know of or understand the cultural genocide of the residential school legacy.
Aboriginal Peoples Television Network – Number of Indian residential school student dealths may never be known. <http://aptn.ca/news/2015/06/02/number-indian-residential-school-student-deaths-may-never-known-trc/>
Compiled by: Véronique Russell
73. We call upon the federal government to work with churches, Aboriginal communities, and former residential school students to establish and maintain an online registry of residential school cemeteries, including, where possible, plot maps showing the location of deceased residential school children.
“In Western society, it is often assumed that our dead will be brought home. However, almost all of the parents of the children who attended and died at the (residential school) were not afforded this basic human right.” – Katherine Nichols
If answered, this recommendation will allow Aboriginal communities to properly bury their family members in accordance with their cultural customs. The TRC has already established a project, “The Missing Children Project” to compile the names of children who died, how they died and where they were buried. This call would further such initiatives to provide a more accurate number of unaccounted aboriginal children murdered in the residential schools as well as foster meaningful relationships of solidarity within Canada.
- Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada – Missing Children and Unmarked Burials: Research Recommendations <http://www.trc.ca/websites/trcinstitution/File/pdfs/Working_group_on_Mis_7456E0.pdf>
- Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada – Missing Children Project <http://www.myrobust.com/websites/trcinstitution/index.php?p=823>
- A timeline: where are the children <http://wherearethechildren.ca/en/timeline/research/>
Compiled by: Hilary Smith
74. We call upon the federal government to work with the churches and Aboriginal community leaders to inform the families of children who died at residential schools of the child’s burial location, and to respond to families’ wishes for appropriate commemoration ceremonies and markers, and reburial in home communities where requested.
This call to action is necessary to make amends for the past treatment of Canada’s aboriginal school children. The scale of cultural genocide is not yet known and this recommendation is imperative to understand the effect colonialism had on the First Nations in the 20th century. This is important for all Canadians because it would show grieving aboriginal families that we care about their history, we care about the quality of their lives, and respect their cultural traditions.
National Post – “This is somebody’s young kid”: The unmarked graves of Brandon’s residential school” <http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/the-secret-graves-of-brandon-residential-school-773123
The Star – Finding Canada’s lost residential school children <http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2015/06/07/finding-canadas-lost-residential-schoolchildren.html>
Compiled by: Hilary Smith
75. We call upon the federal government to work with provincial, territorial, and municipal governments, churches, Aboriginal communities, former residential school students, and current landowners to develop and implement strategies and procedures for the ongoing identification, documentation, maintenance, commemoration, and protection of residential school cemeteries or other sites at which residential school children were buried. This is to include the provision of appropriate memorial ceremonies and commemorative markers to honour the deceased children.
Residential schools had a horrendous impact on Aboriginal children as they were forced to be separated from their families in a brutal attempt to make them adapt to Euro-Christian Canadian society. The TRC states, “Child neglect was institutionalized, and the lack of supervision created situations where students were prey to sexual and physical abusers”. The severe abuse that happened at residential schools caused the number of deaths to stop being recorded by the government as children were dying at an alarming rate. The impacts of residential schools can still be found across Canada today, as Indigenous communities search for closure, which can only be done by facing the wounds that were implemented by the racial profiling that so drastically occurred.
Justice Murray Sinclair, who heads the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, estimated that up to six thousand children died at residential schools, yet it is impossible to say with certain. The Star stated in an article titled, How many First Nations kids died in residential schools? Justice Murray Sinclair says Canada needs answers, “Schools were often crowded, poorly ventilated and unsanitary. Children died from smallpox, measles, influenza and tuberculosis. Some were buried in unmarked graves in school cemeteries, while others were listed as “missing” or “discharged.” In some cases, parents never found out what happened”. It can be understood that in order for reconciliation to take place, Canada must come together as a nation to pay respect to these innocent lives that were lost due to this dark part of history. It is vitally important that these children are remembered and honored by having appropriate memorial ceremonies and ensuring that their graves are marked and maintained.
TRC: Survivors weep for those who died, Shari Narine Windspeaker
Committee Seeking Recognition of Regina Residential School Cemetery, Alyssa McDonald
Compiled by: Nicole Elie
76. We call upon the parties engaged in the work of documenting, maintaining, commemorating, and protecting residential school cemeteries to adopt strategies in accordance with the following principles:
i. The Aboriginal community most affected shall lead the development of such strategies.
ii. Information shall be sought from residential school Survivors and other Knowledge Keepers in the development of such strategies.
iii. Aboriginal protocols shall be respected before any potentially invasive technical inspection and investigation of a cemetery site
In order for residential school cemeteries to follow cultural practices and to respect the lives lost, it is highly important that the Aboriginal communities that were most affected shall lead the development of such strategies. Not only will this ensure proper cultural practices, it will also give community members a chance to heal through reconciliation. Also, by having information obtained from residential school survivors and knowledge keepers in the development of such strategies, it redresses the legacy of residential schools and helps in the process of reconciliation across Canada.
Compiled by: Nicole Elie
77. We call upon provincial, territorial, municipal, and community archives to work collaboratively with the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation to identify and collect copies of all records relevant to the history and legacy of the residential school system, and to provide these to the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation.
In order for reconciliation to occur, an essential step is that the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation obtain documents about records related to the history and legacy of residential schools. As there are so many individual stories that have unanswered questions remaining, it is very important that the government and community documents are acquired.
This will give communities and individuals a chance to find truth about loved ones. Also, one of the main goals of the TRC is to provide documents relating to the severity of abuse that occurred at residential schools and how they have had a lasting impact on generations of Aboriginal people. By providing specific cases, it gives opens the door for further discussions about the impacts residential schools had on Indigenous individuals, families, communities and culture.
Aboriginal Research, Social Scientists and Humanities Research Council
Compiled by: Nicole Elie
78. We call upon the Government of Canada to commit to making a funding contribution of $10 million over seven years to the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, plus an additional amount to assist communities to research and produce histories of their own residential school experience and their involvement in truth, healing, and reconciliation.
The need for financial assistance from the Government of Canada for the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation and to help communities in researching and producing histories of their residential school experiences in a very important part of reconciliation across Canada. This will ensure that the TRC is able to be properly funded and able to further research on the affects residential schools had on Indigenous people while helping safe-keep cultural beliefs and practices. It is very important that their stories do not go left untold, as so that history does not repeat itself.
Compiled by: Nicole Elie
79. We call upon the federal government, in collaboration with Survivors, Aboriginal organizations, and the arts community, to develop a reconciliation framework for Canadian heritage and commemoration. This would include, but not be limited to:
i. Amending the Historic Sites and Monuments Act to include First Nations, Inuit, and Métis representation on the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada and its Secretariat.
ii. Revising the policies, criteria, and practices of the National Program of Historical Commemoration to integrate Indigenous history, heritage values, and memory practices into Canada’s national heritage and history.
iii. Developing and implementing a national heritage plan and strategy for commemorating residential school sites, the history and legacy of residential schools, and the contributions of Aboriginal peoples to Canada’s history.
The affects of residential schools can be seen widespread throughout Indigenous communities. It has often been referred to as a ‘cultural genocide’ as it had horrendous impacts on Indigenous culture and practices as children were stripped from their native identities and forced into an institution that glorified abuse in the name of religion and order.
However, it can be also be understood that Indigenous people have played a very prominent role in the development of Canada, from contributing to the war of 1812 as they helped protect British forces from invading Americans to fighting in the first world war.
By implementing this recommendation, it would recognize the impact that Indigenous people have had in Canadian history while paying tribute to their culture. It is vital in order for reconciliation to occur that Canadians are able to see the value of Indigenous people in our heritage while celebrating their rich and diverse background nationally.
Aboriginal History in Canada, Indigenous and Northern Affairs
Compiled by: Nicole Elie
80. We call upon the federal government, in collaboration with Aboriginal peoples, to establish, as a statutory holiday, a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation to honour Survivors, their families, and communities, and ensure that public commemoration of the history and legacy of residential schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process.
This is such an important recommendation because a National holiday will allow Canadians across the country to be assaulted with information on the history of residential schools.
The cultural genocide that occurred will become a household name and get people talking about it. Canadians will be able to commemorate and pay respect for the grievances Canadian Aboriginals.
Compiled by Hilary Smith
81. We call upon the federal government, in collaboration with Survivors and their organizations, and other parties to the Settlement Agreement, to commission and install a publicly accessible, highly visible, Residential Schools National Monument in the city of Ottawa to honour Survivors and all the children who were lost to their families and communities.
In a few words: Erect a monument in the Nation’s capital to remember the residential schools system
What does this mean in simple English?
This is a recommendation that is very easy to understand: build a monument to recognize the travesty which was the residential schools system—and don’t just put in the corner of a room where no one will see it. It should be front and centre where it can receive lots of attention.
From a policy perspective, even though it is a very simple recommendation to understand, this is a very difficult recommendation to implement. Not only would it likely cost lots of money, it would require a great deal of collaboration between different groups concerning issues such as funding, artistic design, location, construction etc. Practically speaking, most of the initiative for this recommendation would have to come from the City of Ottawa (in terms of planning, location etc.), in negotiation with the federal government (funding) and Aboriginal groups (artistic design).
Mayor Open to Ottawa Monument for Residential School Survivors, Ottawa Citizen
Compiled by Jonathan Wearing
82. We call upon provincial and territorial governments, in collaboration with Survivors and their organizations, and other parties to the Settlement Agreement, to commission and install a publicly accessible, highly visible, Residential Schools Monument in each capital city to honour Survivors and all the children who were lost to their families and communities.
A mandatory teaching of the history of residential schools should be put into place by the government to educate future generations about this piece of Canadian history that is often left out. A monument should be in place in each province and territory where many people will be able to visit and see it and gain an understanding of the dark part of Canada’s history. Aboriginal artists should be given the opportunity to design monuments and create ways of raising awareness through art.
Remembering the Past: A Window to the Future, Indigenous and Northern Affairs
Compiled By: Morgan Visser