Building fair, equitable Canada at core of National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation report
|Toronto Star 27 Sep 2020 at 08:53|
The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation’s (NCTR) five-year report which documents NCTR’s journey is now available to the public.
The report, called “Pathways: The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation Five-Year Report, November 2014 to November 2019,” contains information on what led to the development of the NCTR and a glimpse of the hard work happening behind the scenes.
Created in 2014, the NCTR plays a critical role in protecting the history of the residential school systems. By doing this, the NCTR preserves the record of Canada’s human rights violations towards Indigenous families, communities and individuals.
“It (the report) represents an important step forward in our journey of sharing what has been happening in the NCTR and across the country. This report is an opportunity for people to better understand the work that happens in the NCTR that marks a step forward in the sharing of information across Canada,” said NCTR Director Ry Moran on Tuesday.
“The report broadly educates the public on the changes that still need to occur in society to ensure that we are building a Canada that is just, fair, equitable, a society free from racism and discrimination,” he added.
The Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement settled the largest class-action lawsuit in Canada’s history. This agreement created a few national processes, including the Independent Assessment Process (IAP) and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC).
The TRC was mandated to establish a National Research Centre, a permanent archive for all statements, documents and other materials collected to ensure that no one can ever deny what occurred within the residential schools.
“Survivors are a hugely important treasure in this country because through the sharing of their truths and their powerful statements that they gave to the TRC, that Canada was able to hear just how horrible the system of residential schools was and how significant the intergenerational challenges are,” said Moran.
“What you see reflected in the report is a lot of engagement with communities and a lot of work to ensure that survivors are forever remembered, honoured and that they play an active role in the operations of the NCTR.”
The NCTR Archives carry more than four million archival records made up of over 15 million digital files. Essentially, the NCTR Archives are made up of 6,757 Survivor and witness statements that total 44,805 individual files or 2,629 hours of audiovisual content. The Archives also carry over 1,000 physical objects that were gifted to the TRC.
People can access the report and learn more about the NCTR at their website. Moving forward, the NCTR will be issuing reports on an annual basis, so all Canadians have an opportunity to find out about the inner workings of the NCTR.
In addition, the NCTR will be holding an event on September 30 in honour of residential school survivors. The event is primarily targeted at youths from Grade 5 to Grade 12, but it overall intends to inform the country about the NCTR objectives and goals.
“The NCTR is entrusted with moving forward in the spirit of the truth and reconciliation in this country. The work of truth and reconciliation is complex, detailed and nuance. There is a lot of work to be done. We are sharing the report to help people to understand what things look like and what steps the NCTR has taken,” said Moran.
— Nicole Wong is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the Winnipeg Sun. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.