Residential-schools commission …

The Globe and Mail

[Truth and Reconciliation Commission interim report]

[Compensating native residential school abuse]

Residential-schools commission calls for national awareness campaign

Tamara Baluja AND Gloria Galloway

OTTAWA— From Friday’s Globe and Mail

Published Thursday, Feb. 23, 2012

The commission that was established to reveal the dark legacy of church-run residential schools for aboriginal children says all Canadians should be made more aware of the sorry chapter in their country’s history.

In an interim report from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) to be released on Friday in Vancouver, Mr. Justice Murray Sinclair says comprehensive awareness efforts are needed to ensure that the rest of Canada fully understands the pain of the students who attended the schools and the parents whose children were taken from them.

Judge Sinclair recommends that every province and territory review its public-school curriculum to assess what, if anything, is being taught about the residential schools and to develop age-appropriate educational material. In addition, the TRC would like to work with the governments to develop unique local campaigns to educate the general public on residential schools.

After assessing statements and testimony from thousands of survivors and more than 100 former employees of the schools, Judge Sinclair says “we were reminded afresh that all of this happened to little children who had no control over their lives.”

About 150,000 first nations, Inuit and Métis children were forced to attend the government schools throughout the 1900s. The last one closed outside Regina in 1996.

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