Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada

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Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada
Commission de vérité et réconciliation du Canada
Agency overview
FormedJune 2, 2008 (2008-06-02)
DissolvedDecember 18, 2015 (2015-12-18)
Superseding agency
TypeTruth and reconciliation commission
JurisdictionGovernment of Canada
HeadquartersWinnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Agency executive
Key document

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC; French: Commission de vérité et réconciliation du Canada [CVR]) was a truth and reconciliation commission active in Canada from 2008 to 2015, organized by the parties of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement.

The commission was officially established on June 1, 2008, with the purpose of documenting the history and lasting impacts of the Canadian Indian residential school system on Indigenous[nb 1] students and their families. It provided residential school survivors[nb 2] an opportunity to share their experiences during public and private meetings held across the country. The TRC emphasizes that it has a priority of displaying the impacts of the residential schools to the Canadians who have been kept in the dark from these matters.[4]

In June 2015, the TRC released an executive summary of its findings along with 94 "calls to action" regarding reconciliation between Canadians and Indigenous Peoples. The commission officially concluded in December 2015 with the publication of a multi-volume final report that concluded the school system amounted to cultural genocide. The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, which opened at the University of Manitoba in November 2015, is an archival repository home to the research, documents, and testimony collected during the course of the TRC's operation.


They Came for the Children, published by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission

The TRC was established in June 2008 as one of the mandated aspects of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement (IRSSA).[5][6][7] As part of the negotiated IRSSA, a $60 million budget over five years was established for the work of the TRC to take place.[6] A one-year extension was granted in January 2014 to allow for the completion of the TRC's mandate, extending the conclusion of the commission to June 2015.[8]

The commission was founded as an arms-length organization with a mandate of documenting the history and impacts of the residential school system. About 70 percent of the schools were administered, with government funds, by the Catholic Church.[9] As explained in the 2013 Spring Report of the Auditor General of Canada, a key part of the TRC mandate included "creating as complete a historical record as possible of the residential school system and legacy."[10] It was also tasked with preserving collected records documenting the residential school system and those created over the course of the commission's work for future management at a national research centre.[7][10] While undertaking this task the TRC spent six years travelling to different parts of Canada to hear the testimony of more than 6,500 witnesses including residential school survivors and others impacted by the school system.[11][12]

The mandate of the TRC included hosting seven national reconciliation events, collecting all relevant archival documents relating to the residential schools from church and government bodies, collecting statements from survivors, and overseeing a commemoration fund to support community reconciliation events.[13] The TRC's mandate emphasized preserving and exposing the true history of residential schools.[14]

In March 2008, Indigenous leaders and church officials embarked on a multi-city Remembering the Children tour to promote activities of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.[15] On January 21–22, 2008, the King's University College of Edmonton, Alberta, held an interdisciplinary studies conference on the subject of the Truth and Reconciliation Committee. On June 11 of the same year, Prime Minister Stephen Harper apologized for the role of past governments in administration of the residential schools.[16] Later, in 2017, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also vocalized an apology to those who were victims of the residential schools.[17]

The commission's mandate was originally scheduled to end in 2014, with a final event in Ottawa. However, it was extended to 2015 as numerous records related to residential schools were provided to the commission in 2014 by Library and Archives Canada following a January 2013 order of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.[18] The commission needed additional time to review these documents. The commission held its closing event in Ottawa from May 31 to June 3, 2015, including a ceremony at Rideau Hall with Governor General David Johnston.


The mandate of IRSSA required the TRC to gather testimonies from the residential school's survivors.[19] The testimonies were claimed to be necessary in order for the mandate to create a historical record of the legacy and impacts of the residential schools.[19] The historical record was also important in educating the public on "the truth of what happened" in Canada. The records of the testimonies and documents of the residential schools are open to the public in a National Research Centre.[19]

Between 2008 and 2014 the TRC gathered what is estimated to be around 7000 testimonies from the survivors,[20] most from those who had attended the schools after the 1940s.[21] The testimonies were gathered in both public and private settings, such as community hearings, sharing circles, Commissioners Sharing Panels, etc.[19] The Commissioners Panels often brought large audiences, drawing hundreds of audience members and reporters with testimonies regularly being recorded and posted online. During the public testimonies, survivors detailed their experiences surrounding the residential schools.[22] These regularly consisted of memories of being stripped of their language and culture[23] as well as experiences of abuse, sexual assault and malnutrition.[22]

Commission name[edit]

The Canadian Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was named in a similar fashion to the commissions by the same name in Chile in 1990 and South Africa in 1996.[24] In this context, reconciliation refers to the act of restoring a once harmonious relationship.[25] The commission came under criticism for using the term in their name, however, as it implies that there was once a harmonious relationship between settlers and Indigenous Peoples that is being restored, while that relationship may never have existed in Canada.[26]: 35  The use of reconciliation thereby perpetuates such myth by continuing to deny "the existence of pre-contact Aboriginal sovereignty."[26]: 35 


Commissioner Littlechild speaking at a TRC event in Inuvik, 2011

Justice Harry S. Laforme of the Ontario Court of Appeal was named to chair the commission. He resigned on October 20, 2008, citing insubordination by the two other commissioners, Claudette Dumont-Smith and Jane Brewin Morley. Laforme said they wanted to focus primarily on uncovering and documenting truth while he wanted to also have an emphasis on reconciliation between aboriginal and non-aboriginal Canadians. In addition: "The two commissioners are unprepared to accept that the structure of the commission requires that the commission's course is to be charted and its objectives are to be shaped ultimately through the authority and leadership of its chair."[27] Although Dumont-Smith and Morley denied the charge and initially stayed on,[28] both resigned in January 2009.

On June 10, 2009, Murray Sinclair was appointed to replace Laforme as chairperson of the TRC. Marie Wilson, a senior executive with the Workers' Safety and Compensation Commission of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut, and Wilton Littlechild, former Conservative Member of Parliament and Alberta regional chief for the Assembly of First Nations, were appointed to replace commissioners Dumont-Smith and Morley.[29]

Missing Children Project[edit]

The TRC contributed to not only educating the public about the reality of the residential schools, but also led to creating organizations such as the Missing Children Project. Over the course of the residential schools, thousands of children died as a result of diseases, suicide, malnutrition, etc.[4] In 1917, the death rates stopped from being documented by the Department of Indian Affairs.[4] The Missing Children Project is an organization that is dedicated to identifying the children who died during their time at the residential schools.[4] The documentation is done through intensive research as well as analyzing the different conditions the students were facing.[4]

Calls to action[edit]

In June 2015, the TRC released a summary report of its findings and "94 Calls to Action" to "redress the legacy of residential schools and advance the process of Canadian reconciliation." The calls to action were divided into two categories: "Legacy" and "Reconciliation."[30]


The Legacy section of the calls to action focused on redressing the harms resulting from the Indian residential schools (IRS), the proposed actions are identified in the following sub-categories:

  1. Child welfare: Residential schools often served as foster homes rather than educational settings. According to a 1953 survey, 4,313 children of 10,112 residential school children were described as either orphans or originated from broken homes.[31] The sole residential school in Canada's Atlantic Provinces, in Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia, was one such school, taking in children whom child welfare agencies believed to be at risk. There is an ongoing legacy of state intervention in Indigenous children lives via the child welfare system. By 2011, 3.6 percent of all First Nations children under the age of 14 were in foster care, compared to 0.3 percent for non-lndigenous children.[32] In 2012, the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child voiced concern on Canada's removal of Indigenous children from their families as a 'first resort'.[33]
  2. Education: Due to limited funds, a shortage of trained teachers, and an emphasis on manual labour, many students in the IRS system did not progress beyond a rudimentary education. When residential schools were phased out, Indigenous youth enrolled in provincial schools dropped out in large numbers. The education focused calls to action are to address the current school completion rates and the income gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students. In addition, the calls to actions request the elimination of the ongoing discrepancy in funding of Indigenous education.
  3. Language and Culture: Children in residential schools were not allowed to speak their native languages or practice their culture. According to UNESCO, 36 percent of Canada's Indigenous languages are listed as being critically endangered.[34] The calls to action request increased funding for educating children in Indigenous languages and also request that post-secondary institutions provide degrees and diplomas in Indigenous languages.
  4. Health: Healthcare for IRS students varied considerably between schools and between different decades. After the 1940s, health facilities and health care workers became more prevalent. Some schools had a nurse on staff and an infirmary, with doctors who paid visits. Testimony before the TRC reveals that a great many children were subjected to sexual and physical abuse while attending a residential school. It is often claimed that the effects of the trauma have been passed on to the children of those students. The calls to action in this connection connect the poor healthcare provided at residential school to the current gap in health outcomes for Indigenous people in Canada.
  5. Justice: When the Canadian legal system was tasked with investigating abuse claims, few prosecutions resulted from police investigations. In many cases, the federal government and the RCMP compromised the investigations. Given the statutes of limitations, many acts of abuse have gone unpunished because the children did not have the means or possess the knowledge to seek justice for their abuses. The calls to action around justice seek to extend the statutes of limitations and to reaffirm the independence of the RCMP. They also speak to the need to develop culturally appropriate justice systems.


The Reconciliation section of the calls to action were focused on creating better relations between the federal and provincial governments of Canada and Indigenous nations, with an emphasis on creating a reconciled relationship. The proposed actions are identified in the following sub-categories:

  1. Canadian governments and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People
  2. Royal proclamation and covenant of reconciliation
  3. Settlement agreement parties and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
  4. Equity for Aboriginal people in the legal system
  5. National council for reconciliation
  6. Professional development and training for public servants
  7. Church apologies and reconciliation
  8. Education for reconciliation
  9. Youth programs
  10. Museums and archives
  11. Missing children and burial information
  12. National centre for truth and reconciliation
  13. Commemoration
  14. Media and reconciliation
  15. Sports and reconciliation
  16. Business and reconciliation
  17. Newcomers to Canada


The degree of implementation has been assessed differently by observers. Two of the most prominent asessements are conducted by the Yellowhead Institute at Ryerson University (now Toronto Metropolitan University) and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). The government also conducted their own assessment.

Yellowhead Institute assessment[edit]

In 2016 and 2017, historian Ian Mosby evaluated how many of the calls to action had been completed at the one year and two year anniversary marks. In 2016, he concluded that only five calls were complete and three calls were partially complete, leaving 86 calls unmet.[35] In 2017, his evaluation showed that only 7 of the 94 calls had been completed.[36] At the end of 2020, his evaluation (together with Eva Jewell) is that only 8 calls had been fully implemented.[37]

CBC assessment[edit]

In 2018 the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation established Beyond 94, a website to track the status of each call to action.[38] As of March 2018, 10 were marked as completed, 15 were in-progress with projects underway, 25 had projects proposed, and 44 were unmet.[39] As of July 29, 2019, the site has been updated to mark 10 calls to action completed, 21 in-progress with projects underway, 37 in-progress with projects proposed, and 26 "not yet started."[38]

As of June 22, 2021, the CBC has marked the following 13 calls to action as "complete":[40]

  • Language and Culture (#13) — Acknowledge that Aboriginal rights include Aboriginal language rights: In 2017, the Minister for Heritage Mélanie Joly announced, in collaboration with the Assembly of First Nations, the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, and the Métis National Council, that they would be co-developing an Indigenous Languages Act for the protection and promotion of Indigenous languages across Indigenous, Metis, and Inuit cultures.[41] The Indigenous Languages Act came law on 21 June 2019.[42]
  • Language and Culture (#15) — Appoint an Aboriginal Languages Commissioner: Ronald Ignace was appointed commissioner on June 14, 2021, along with three other directors, to form the Office of the Commission for Indigenous Languages.[43]
  • Justice (#39) — Collect and publish data on the criminal victimization of Aboriginal people: Statistics Canada published a report in 2016 entitled Victimization of Aboriginal people in Canada, 2014 utilizing data from the 2014 General Social Survey.[44] The report found that higher levels of Indigenous Canadians were found to have been victims of crime in 2014 than non-Indigenous Canadians.[44]
  • Justice (#41) — Appoint a public inquiry into the causes of, and remedies for, the disproportionate victimization of Aboriginal women and girls: In the immediate aftermath of the 2015 federal election, the new Trudeau government announced a national inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women and girls. The inquiry commenced in 2016, and concluded on June 3, 2019,[45] and included numerous recommendations for addressing the "endemic violence" faced by Indigenous women in Canada.[45]
  • Reconciliation (#43) — Adopt and implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: Bill C-15 was passed on June 16, 2021, in its third attempt at being passed in parliament.[46]
  • Reconciliation (#59) — Church parties to residential school settlement to educate congregations on why apologies necessary: 67 percent of residential schools were run by the Catholic Church, with the remaining 33 percent including the Anglican, United, and Presbyterian Church.[47] These churches began to apologize beginning with the United Church of Canada in 1986,[48] with the others following in the years thereafter.[49][50] In 2009, the Vatican issued an official expression of sorrow,[51] and Justin Trudeau requested that an official apology be made in 2017.[52] The Truth and Reconciliation Commission called on all churches involved in the facilitation of the Indian Residential Schools to educate their congregations about the church's involvement in the schools and the impacts of colonialism on Indigenous Peoples. This is done primarily through KAIROS Canada, a faith-based advocacy group.[53]
  • Reconciliation (#80) — Establish a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation as a statutory holiday: Bill C-5 was passed on June 3, 2021, to make Orange Shirt Day (September 30) a statutory holiday.[54]
  • Reconciliation (#83) — Canada Council for the Arts to establish a strategy for Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists to undertake collaborative projects: the Canadian Council for the Arts gave $17.8 million in funds to Indigenous artists in 2017–18, and is on track to triple its 2015-16 investment of $6.3 million to $18.9 million in 2020–21, as detailed in their 2016-2021 Strategic Plan.[55]
  • Reconciliation (#84) — Restore and increase funding to the CBC/Radio-Canada to enable it to support reconciliation: The federal government allotted an additional 75 million dollars towards the CBC in its 2016 budget. The CBC presented an "Accountability Plan" to make public how those funds were being invested. Though the commission called specifically for increased Indigenous programming, under the Broadcasting Act it is impossible for public funds to be put towards specific programming. However, the amount of programming by and for Indigenous Peoples has increased on the CBC since 2016.[56]
  • Reconciliation (#85) — Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) to support reconciliation: The commission called on APTN to produce and broadcast content by and for Indigenous peoples supporting reconciliation. This initiative was upheld by APTN, with the launch of their series TAKEN in 2016 centring on missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.[57]
  • Reconciliation (#87) — Tell the stories of Aboriginal athletes in history: Canada's Sports Hall of Fame included a segment about Indigenous athletes throughout Canadian history in an online exhibit launched in 2017. This was followed by the inclusion of various Indigenous athletes into the British Columbia Hall of Fame, the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame, and the Toronto Hockey Hall of Fame.[53]
  • Reconciliation (#88) — Continued support for the North American Indigenous Games: the Canadian government promised in 2017 to contribute $18.9 million to funding "culturally relevant" sports programs in Indigenous communities over 5 years, with 5.5 million promised every 4 years after 2022, as a collaboration between the Ministry of Sport and Persons with Disabilities and the Ministry of Indigenous and Northern Affairs.[58]
  • Reconciliation (#90) — Ensure that national sports policies, programs and initiatives are inclusive of Aboriginal Peoples: After the release of the commission's report in 2015, Sport Canada announced that it would be reinstating funding to the Aboriginal Sport Circle, which is a national organization advocating for resources for Indigenous, Metis, and Inuit athletic programs. The federal government also allocated 47.5 million dollars to sport development in over 300 communities nationwide.[53]

Final report[edit]

In December 2015, the TRC released its final report. The report was based on primary and secondary source research undertaken by the commission and testimonies collected from residential school survivors during TRC events. The final report summarized the work of the TRC and included the following sections:[59]

  • "Honouring the Truth, Reconciling the Future,"
  • "What We Have Learned,"
  • "The Survivors Speak,"
  • "The History, Part 1 - Origins to 1939,"
  • "The History, Part 2 - 1939 to 2000,"
  • "The Inuit and Northern Experience,"
  • "The Métis Experience,"
  • "Missing Children and Unmarked Burials,"
  • "The Legacy," and
  • "Reconciliation."

The report noted that an estimated 150,000 children attended residential schools during its 120-year history and an estimated 3200 of those children died in the residential schools.[60] From the 70,000 former IRS students still alive, there were 31,970 sexual or serious sexual assault cases resolved by Independent Assessment Process, and 5,995 claims were still in progress as of the report's release.[60]

The TRC concluded that the removal of children from the influence of their own culture with the intent of assimilating them into the dominant Canadian culture amounted to cultural genocide.[61]: 1  The ambiguity of the TRC's phrasing allowed for the interpretation that physical and biological genocide also occurred. The TRC was not authorized to conclude that physical and biological genocide occurred, as such a finding would imply a legal responsibility of the Canadian government that would be difficult to prove. As a result, the debate about whether the Canadian government also committed physical and biological genocide against Indigenous populations remains open.[62][63]

The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR) was established at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, as an archive to hold the research, documents, and testimony collected by the TRC during its operation.[64] The NCTR opened to the public in November 2015 and holds more than five million documents relating to the legacy of residential schools in Canada.[64]


A number of critiques about the TRC have been put forward by both Indigenous and non-Indigenous writers, ranging from its scope and motivating framework to its methodology and conclusions.

Professor Glen Coulthard, a member of the Yellowknives Dene First Nation, has argued that the TRC's focus on the residential school system positioned reconciliation as a matter of "overcoming a 'sad chapter' in [Canadian] history,"[65]: 125  which failed to recognize the ongoing nature and impact of colonialism. For Coulthard, reconciliation being tied solely to the residential school system and actions of the past explains why Prime Minister Stephen Harper was able to apologize for the system in 2008 and, a year later, claim that there is no history of colonialism in Canada.[66] Professors Brian Rice, a member of the Mohawk Nation, and Anna Snyder agree with Coulthard's critique of the focus on residential schools as the singular issue to reconcile noting that the schools were only "one aspect of a larger project to absorb or assimilate Aboriginal people".[67]: 51 

Many writers have observed the way the TRC historicizes the events of colonialism and fails to emphasize that uneven Indigenous-non-Indigenous relationships are perpetual and ongoing.[26] Historicizing is further evident in the TRC's 'Principles of Reconciliation' where reconciliation is framed as grappling with harms of the past.[68] This wrongly implies that colonialism is not ongoing and is not a continuing part of current government policy.[65] Because of this historicizing, the TRC concentrated its efforts largely on 'psychological' healing through the gathering and airing of stories; however, it lacked significant institutional change, particularly change to the kinds of government institutions involved in residential schools and other forms of colonial domination.[65]: 121 

Another criticism of the commission is that reconciliation is introduced "on terms still largely dictated by the state,"[65]: 127  rather than allowing a grassroots movement to gain traction or forms of 'moral protest' to develop. Because it was the government that initiated the process of reconciliation and set the terms of it, some critics argued that the colonial power is dictating the terms of their colonial subjects' healing,[65]: 167  and "[imposing] a time limit on 'healing'", in order to move past; it makes it less effective as a platform for reconciliation.[26]: 36  The approach by the commission to engage with Indigenous Peoples when and how it is most convenient for non-Indigenous Canadians can be seen as "yet another form of settler colonialism."[69]: 3  Because Indigenous "recognition and reconciliation, from a Canadian perspective, [is] focused only on the wrongs of the past, and the situation as it exists today is ignored."[66]

Unlike the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa, the Canadian commission was not a federal or state-led initiative. It was developed as part of a legal settlement, the Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement, between various residential school survivor groups, the Assembly of First Nations, various Church bodies, and the Government of Canada. As such, the TRC had no powers of subpoena; no power to offer known perpetrators of abuse the possibility of amnesty in exchange for honest testimony about any abuses that may have been committed. Further, the commission could not explicitly "name names" or accuse individuals; perpetrators held accountable via the commission. Therefore, the Canadian commission heard primarily from former students.[61]

Questioning of findings[edit]

The same week the Final Report was released, two retired professors from the University of Manitoba published a scathing criticism of it, titled "Truth and Reconciliation report tells a 'skewed and partial story' of residential schools".[70] Hymie Rubenstein, a retired professor of anthropology[71] and Rodney A. Clifton, former residential school employee in the 1960s,[72] co-penned an editorial questioning the truthfulness of the Report. In it, they held that, while the residential school program had been harmful to many students, the commission had shown "indifference to robust evidence gathering, comparative or contextual data, and cause-effect relationships," which resulted in the commission's report telling "a skewed and partial story".[73]

According to Rubenstein and Clifton, the Truth and Reconciliation Report did not compare its findings with rates and causes of mortality among Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children attending public schools. Rubenstein and Clifton noted that the report also failed to consider Indian residential schools were typically located in rural areas far from hospitals, making treatment more difficult to acquire. They describe it as "bad research".[74]

In an essay defending John A. Macdonald from the claim of having committed genocide, Patrice Dutil, a professor of politics and public administration at Ryerson University (now Toronto Metropolitan University), claimed that the commission was "yet another very expensive prise de conscience designed to keep the light on a painful aspect of the Canadian experience", and that the volumes on residential schools "barely pretends to be an academic document."[75] He went on to claim that "The study makes no attempt to put things in perspective, to show how practices evolved or to compare the Canadian experience with that of other countries. It is, rather, a blunt catalogue of findings typical of Royal Commissions, providing a long list of mini-studies of various phenomena with scarcely an academic veneer."

In March 2017, Lynn Beyak, a Conservative member of the Senate Standing Committee of Aboriginal Peoples, voiced disapproval of the final TRC report, claiming that it had omitted an "abundance of good" that she thought was present in the schools.[76][77] Her comments were widely criticized, including by Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Carolyn Bennett and leader of the New Democratic Party Tom Mulcair, though some Conservative senators claimed her opinions were an expression of free speech.[78] The Anglican Church also raised concerns, stating in a release co-signed by bishops Fred Hiltz and Mark MacDonald: "There was nothing good about children going missing and no report being filed. There was nothing good about burying children in unmarked graves far from their ancestral homes."[79][80] In response, the Conservative Party leadership removed Beyak from the Senate committee underscoring that her comments did not align with the views of the party.[78]

Conservative Commentator Helen Andrews writing in The American Conservative criticized the process:

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission was a major tactical error on Harper’s part. It invited testimony from survivors and then let that testimony stand unquestioned...this resulted in a document that was essentially oral history but which was treated upon publication as an unquestionable record of the facts endorsed by the federal government. Everything about the way the commission gathered its testimony was structured to encourage atrocity tales: witnesses testified in public, with audiences that sometimes booed positive statements; boxes of tissues were placed on seats and attendees told their used tissues would be collected and burned in a “sacred fire”; financial compensation was greater for those who could credibly claim to have suffered abuse, so alleging bad treatment could be the difference between getting $25,000 or $125,000.[81]


In August 2018, the Royal Canadian Geographical Society announced the release of the Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada, an encyclopedia with content including information about indigenous lands, languages, communities, treaties, and cultures, and topics such as the Canadian Indian residential school system, racism, and cultural appropriation.[82] It was created to address the Calls to Action, among them the development of "culturally appropriate curricula" for Aboriginal Canadian students.

The Nordic countries of Norway, Sweden, and Finland have established truth and reconciliation commissions to address the colonialization of the Saami people which are modelled on the Canadian commission.[83] Norway created its commission in 2018, and Sweden and Finland followed in 2021.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Indigenous has been capitalized in keeping with the style guide of the Government of Canada.[1] The capitalization also aligns with the style used within the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. In the Canadian context, Indigenous is capitalized when discussing peoples, cultures, or communities in the same way European or Canadian is used to refer to non-Indigenous topics or people.[2]
  2. ^ Survivor is the term used in the final report of the TRC and the Statement of apology to former students of Indian Residential Schools issued by Stephen Harper on behalf of the Government of Canada in 2008.[3]


  1. ^ "14.12 Elimination of Racial and Ethnic Stereotyping, Identification of Groups". Translation Bureau. Public Works and Government Services Canada. 2017. Retrieved April 30, 2017.
  2. ^ McKay, Celeste (April 2015). "Briefing Note on Terminology". University of Manitoba. Archived from the original on October 25, 2016. Retrieved April 30, 2017.
  3. ^ Harper, Stephen (June 11, 2008). "Statement of apology to former students of Indian Residential Schools". Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. Archived from the original on May 16, 2017. Retrieved May 7, 2017.
  4. ^ a b c d e "The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada". Retrieved September 27, 2019.
  5. ^ Ry Moran (December 7, 2017). "Truth and Reconciliation Commission". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved September 8, 2019.
  6. ^ a b "FAQs: Truth and Reconciliation Commission". CBC News. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
  7. ^ a b "Schedule N of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement" (PDF). 2006. Retrieved January 6, 2019.
  8. ^ "Truth and Reconciliation Commission Granted One-Year Extension to its Operating Period". Government of Canada News. January 30, 2014. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
  9. ^ "Your questions answered about Canada's residential school system | CBC News".
  10. ^ a b "Chapter 6—Creating a Historical Record of Indian Residential Schools". Government of Canada Office of the Auditor General of Canada. April 30, 2013. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
  11. ^ "Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada". Indigenous and Northern Affairs. December 14, 2015. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
  12. ^ "Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada". Our Stories: First Peoples in Canada. Centennial College. 2018. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
  13. ^ Canada, Library and Archives (May 3, 2017). "Library and Archives Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission Web Archive". Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
  14. ^ Mark Kennedy, "At least 4,000 aboriginal children died in residential schools, commission finds", Ottawa Citizen,, January 3, 2014, accessed October 18, 2015
  15. ^ "Indian, church leaders launch multi-city tour to highlight commission". CBC. March 2, 2008. Retrieved June 11, 2011.
  16. ^ "Statement of apology to former students of Indian Residential Schools". Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada. Ottawa, Ontario, Canada: Government of Canada. June 11, 2008. Retrieved June 17, 2015.
  17. ^ Sedehi, Kamelia Talebian (July 1, 2019). "Witnessing the Unspoken Truth: On Residential School Survivors' Testimonies in Canada". Theory and Practice in Language Studies. 9 (7): 755. doi:10.17507/tpls.0907.01. ISSN 1799-2591.
  18. ^ "Huge number of records to land on Truth and Reconciliation Commission's doorstep". CBC. April 23, 2014.
  19. ^ a b c d "Media practices and painful pasts: the public testimonial in Canada's truth and reconciliation commission". Retrieved September 27, 2019.
  20. ^ Vowel, Chelsea (2016). Indigenous Writes (1 ed.). Highwater Press. p. 171. ISBN 978-1-55379-680-0.
  21. ^ Justice Murray, Sinclair (2015). The Survivors Speak. Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. ISBN 978-0-660-01985-7.
  22. ^ a b McNeill, Laurie (July 3, 2015). "Witnessing without Testimony: The Pedagogical Kairos of Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission". A/B: Auto/Biography Studies. 30 (2): 309–332. doi:10.1080/08989575.2015.1088768. ISSN 0898-9575. S2CID 155303705.
  23. ^ Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (May 2015). The survivors speak : a report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. [Winnipeg]. ISBN 9780660019833. OCLC 907968278.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  24. ^ "Truth and Reconciliation Commission". Oxford English Dictionary. Retrieved October 26, 2016.
  25. ^ "Reconciliation". Oxford English Dictionary. Retrieved October 26, 2016.
  26. ^ a b c d Garneau, David (2012). "Imaginary Spaces of Conciliation and Reconciliation" (PDF). West Coast Line. 46 (2). Retrieved February 19, 2017.
  27. ^ Judge at head of residential school investigation resigns, CBC, October 18, 2008, archived from the original on November 3, 2012, retrieved October 20, 2008
  28. ^ Joe Friesen, Jacquie McNish, Bill Curry (October 22, 2008). "Native leaders divided over future of residential schools panel". The Globe and Mail (Last updated March 13, 2009). Retrieved May 31, 2017.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  29. ^ "The commissioners for native reconciliation". CBC News. June 10, 2009. Archived from the original on June 26, 2013. Retrieved December 13, 2020.
  30. ^ Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action (PDF) (Report). Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, 2012. Retrieved June 14, 2015. In order to redress the legacy of residential schools and advance the process of Canadian reconciliation, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission makes the following calls to action.
  31. ^ TRC, NRA, INAC – Resolution Sector – IRS Historical Files Collection – Ottawa, file 6-21-1, volume 2 (Ctrl #27-6), H. M. Jones to Deputy Minister, December 13, 1956. [NCA-001989-0001]
  32. ^ Canada, Statistics Canada, Aboriginal People in Canada, 19
  33. ^ United Nations, Convention on the Rights of the Child, Concluding observations, 12–13
  34. ^ Moseley and Nicolas, Atlas of the World's Languages, 117
  35. ^ "TRC calls to action update after 500-plus days since Trudeau's promise". Retrieved March 16, 2018.
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  37. ^ Mosby, Ian; Jewell, Eva (December 17, 2020). "Calls To Action Accountability: A 2020 Status Update On Reconciliation Executive Summary". Yellowhead Institute. Retrieved July 8, 2021.
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