OTTAWA, Feb. 24, 2012 /CNW/ – Following a three day national forum on First Nations driving change toward safe and thriving communities, Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo welcomed the interim report today released by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC), further calling for a commitment by governments and all Canadians to engage in concrete reconciliation efforts.
“In this interim report, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission draws important conclusions and points to clear steps toward reconciliation,” said AFN National Chief Shawn Atleo. “Real reconciliation, though, is achieved through action and change. We must all work together to ensure these important recommendations are implemented in ways that address the needs of all residential schools survivors and families, and to ensure that from now on education will only be used to support and improve the continued and sustained success of First Nations as an investment in Canada’s collective future.”
In its 30 page report, citing 20 recommendations, the TRC concludes the Indian residential school system constituted an assault on First Nation children, families, culture and communities. The report also highlights the importance of recognizing the unique legal status of First Nations as the original peoples of Canada, encouraging all levels of government to work with First Nations based on this understanding. Specific recommendations include support for health and healing of all survivors, the need for culture and language programming, parenting supports, access to documents, and records as well as restoring funding to the Aboriginal Healing Foundation.
“While we support all survivors and their families on their individual healing journeys, we must at the same time turn the page on this dark chapter of our shared history and work toward a future that unleashes the full potential of our peoples in this country,” said National Chief Atleo. “By acting now in mutual respect, support and partnership we can and will achieve a better day for First Nations in this country – where First Nation education is reflective of our strong languages, cultures and traditions and supports our success at every level.”
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