Learning from a dark time


Many non-aboriginal Canadians remain all too ignorant of the shameful history of Canada’s residential schools, whose damaging legacy continues to be felt in aboriginal communities across the country.

The recent Montreal hearings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada are part of the process of moving forward, not only for those who choose to testify, but for all Canadians.

At these public hearings, which are being held in seven Canadian cities, survivors of the residential school system are getting an opportunity to recount their experiences.

Over the course of more than a century, tens of thousands of First Nations, Métis and Inuit children were wrenched from their families and communities, and sent away to boarding schools run by religious groups and funded by the federal government. Though the schools were winding down by the 1970s, the last of them did not close until 1996.

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