Sinclair issues challenge to help heal pain of schools

Winnipeg Free Press

By: Ashley Prest
Posted: 10/30/2014

Justice Murray Sinclair, the head of a commission investigating the excesses of Indian Residential Schools, said on Thursday that a fundamental change in attitudes and recognition of the past were vital to heal the harm and alienation inflicted by more than a century of mistreatment.

Sinclair chairs the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, due to report next June on the effects of the 142 government-run schools on the more than 150,000 aboriginal children taken from their homes and uprooted from their culture starting in the 1870s. The last such institution closed in 1996.

In an address to several hundred spectators at the University of Manitoba’s Engineering and Technology Complex entitled “If You Think Truth is Hard, Reconciliation is Harder,” he challenged everyone to help make the necessary change.

Sinclair said the key to moving on from the suffering and shame will hinge on recognition of what took place.

“Things are going to change and if they’re going to change, we need to set the terms of what those future changes are going to result in.” he said. “Reconciliation is a hard road.”

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