December 15, 2015
The final Truth and Reconciliation (TRC) report was released. The 4,000 page document is the product of an intensive qualitative research project spanning six years as an inquiry into the malignant legacy of the Canadian residential school system. The final report synthesizes the experiences of 6,000 residential school survivors, which reveal morbid tales of Canada’s historic relationship with FNMI communities.
The TRC report contains a section titled The Métis Experience, which summarizes the impact of residential schools on Métis specifically. It states that Métis residential school survivors have long been overlooked and lays out two calls to action within the final summary report:
29) We call upon the parties and, in particular, the federal government, to work collaboratively with plaintiffs not included in the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement to have disputed legal issues determined expeditiously on an agreed upon set of facts.
46) We call upon the parties to the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement to develop and sign a Covenant of Reconciliation that would identify principles for working collaboratively to advance reconciliation in Canadian society, and that would include, but not be limited to:
Reaffirmation of the parties’ commitment to reconciliation.
Repudiation of concepts used to justify European sovereignty over Indigenous lands and peoples, such as the Doctrine of Discovery and terra nullius, and the reformation of laws, governance structures, and policies within their respective institutions that continue to rely on such concepts.
Full adoption and implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as the framework for reconciliation.
Support for the renewal or establishment of Treaty relationships based on principles of mutual recognition, mutual respect, and shared responsibility for maintaining those relationships into the future.
Enabling those excluded from the Settlement Agreement to sign onto the Covenant of Reconciliation.
Enabling additional parties to sign onto the Covenant of Reconciliation.
Prime Minister Trudeau expressed deep regret to residential school survivors by stating that “the government of Canada sincerely apologizes, and asks the forgiveness of the Aboriginal peoples of this country for failing them so profoundly.” The TRC report contained 94 calls to action and Trudeau pledged to implement all of them in a “formal response” from the Canadian government.
The full final TRC report may be accessed here: http://www.trc.ca/websites/trcinstitution/index.php?p=890