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OISE responds to the release of the final report of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission

 

TORONTO – OISE commends the dedication and strength of the survivors of Canada’s residential schools and the devotion and caring of their families and communities. 

According to The Honourable Justice Murray Sinclair, Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), the legacy of residential schools “is not an Aboriginal problem. This is a Canadian problem".

Over the last six years, the Commission has engaged with thousands of Canadians in every region of the country. Through seven national events, numerous community meetings and several commemorative initiatives, the Commission heard the testimony of survivors and compiled thousands of archival documents. This tremendous effort creates a national treasure and enables Canada to know itself in new ways.

“The Truth and Reconciliation Commission encourages all Canadians to take responsibility for and to own the past. We must champion a future of learning and building respectful relationships, and universities will play and are playing an increasingly important role in building the capacity to foster lasting change through meaningful and respectful partnerships,” said Chief Shawn Atleo, William A. Macdonald Q.C. Distinguished Fellow in Indigenous Education at OISE.

Of particular importance to OISE, the Commission highlights the unique role higher education must play in rebuilding the relationship between Aboriginal peoples and Canadian society as well as the importance of education that acknowledges and advances understanding of our shared history, actively supports Indigenous languages and culture, and creates opportunities to engage in ethical and respectful dialogue for and by all Canadians on our shared future together. 

“The atrocities committed against seven generations of Aboriginal children ‎in the residential schools were carried out in the name of our profession and discipline – education,” said OISE Dean Julia O’Sullivan.  “All educators and educational institutions have a special responsibility to act immediately, in partnership with Aboriginal communities, to implement the recommendations of the Commission.”

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