Truth and Reconciliation Commission findings to be presented at Humber

Grace Esquega and Rosalind Wassegijig at Humber College North campus Aboriginal Resource Centre prepare cedar to be used for upcoming events. Elder Advisor Shelly Charles explains cedar is used to cleanse hands and for tea as a means of spiritual cleansing. Charles confirms the commission’s findings are essential. (Photo: Delia McTaggart) Grace Esquega and Rosalind Wassegijig at Humber College North campus Aboriginal Resource Centre prepare cedar to be used for upcoming events. Elder Advisor Shelly Charles explains cedar is used to cleanse hands and for tea as a means of spiritual cleansing. Charles confirms the commission’s findings are essential. (Photo: Delia McTaggart)

Delia McTaggart
News Reporter

The experiences of residential school survivors across Canada are no longer being ignored in the 21st century, as people become increasingly aware of the plight of indigenous Canadians.

Justice Murray Sinclair, a lawyer, judge and current chair member of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission will be providing the Humber community a chance to learn about his findings.

On Nov. 25 the commissioner will speak at the Lakeshore campus auditorium at 2 p.m., confirms Elder Advisor Shelly Charles, who is at the Humber North campus Aboriginal Resource Centre.

“We had the commissioner come in April 2011, and he’s now finished his report,” for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, said Charles.

Justice Sinclair is helping with a report, which according to the Commission includes “systemic harms, intergenerational consequences and the impact on human dignity and the ongoing legacy of the residential schools [and] support commemoration of former Indian Residential School students and their families.”

The Commission has also identified the names of over 4,000 children who died in residential schools as a result of negligence and abuse. This information was found during research for the commission’s “Missing Children Project.”

The main focus of his speaking engagement will be to illustrate how “justice, health, and education” can be upheld by youth based on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, explained Charles.

“It’s to help promote dialogue that can assist those very important recommendations,” Charles said.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission has collected documents from more than 300 communities since 2008. More than 6,700 stories will be included in a historical archive exploring the impact of Indian Residential schools on Aboriginal Canadians including First Nations, Metis and Inuit communities.

Sinclair grew up on a former reserve north of Selkirk, Man. He was appointed as an associate Chief Judge of the Provincial Court of Manitoba back in 1988. He also was a Co-commissioner of Manitoba’s Justice Inquiry, according to the Aboriginal Justice Implementation Commission website.

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