Justice Murray Sinclair relates commission’s findings on residential school legacy

Kenora Daily Miner and News

By Alan S. Hale, Kenora Daily MIner and News
Thursday, May 29, 2014

With just over a year left before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission issues its long-awaited report, the commission’s head, Justice Murray Sinclair, came to Kenora to talk about some of the findings about Canada’s infamous Indian residential school system that he and his fellow commissioners have been working on gathering for the past five years.

Sinclair’s speech, which was held at Seven Generations’ Manidoo Baawaatig campus (formerly Lakewood School), was part of the Lake of the Woods Museum’s revival of its award-winning exhibit about Kenora’s residential schools, We Were Taught Differently, which has been reformatted to be taken on the road. Justice Sinclair used his time in front of a packed gymnasium to share some of the bone-chilling facts that the commission has uncovered since 2009.

“The survivors want people to know what happened to them while they were at school … and we have recorded over 7,500 of survivor’s stories during the course of our hearings,” said Sinclair.

“As a result of that, it is our view that the level of awareness among the Canadian public has probably doubled from a low in the 30 per cent range to over 60 per cent of Canadian society. They now at least have heard of residential schools and understand that what went on in those schools was not a good thing, that there is still ongoing damage from the schools and something needs to be done about it.”

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