Canada shares Residential School documents with National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation

Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

Taking care: We recognize this news release may contain information that is difficult for many and that our efforts to honour Survivors and families may act as an unwelcome reminder for those who have suffered hardships through generations of government policies that were harmful to Indigenous Peoples.

A National Indian Residential School Crisis Line is available to provide support to former residential school students who can access emotional and crisis referral services by calling the 24-Hour National Crisis Line at 1-866-925-4419.

There is also the Hope for Wellness Help Line for Indigenous Peoples at 1-855-242-3310 or the online chat, available through the help line website at www.hopeforwellness.ca.

January 20, 2022 – Gatineau, Quebec – Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

Residential Schools forcibly removed Indigenous children-First Nations, Inuit and Métis-from their communities and denied them their families, languages and culture while also exposing them to widespread abuse. They are part of a shameful and racist colonial policy, the effects of which are still felt today. Canada has a moral obligation to Survivors to pursue the truth. This includes providing support to Survivors, as well as to those suffering from intergenerational trauma, in their search for answers and healing.

Today, January 20, 2022, the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, and Stephanie Scott, Executive Director of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR) are pleased to announce the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement that outlines how and when Canada will share historical documents related to Residential Schools. This co-developed approach will ensure an efficient and secure transmission of documents while protecting and respecting the privacy of Survivors. The timing will be set by the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation and will begin with school narratives.

Canada recognizes the importance of preserving and sharing documentation that will help the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation honour and remember the children who attended Residential Schools, while respecting Survivors’ wishes, legislation, court orders, settlement agreements and ongoing litigation processes. The Memorandum also outlines next steps to acquire records of Residential School history. This also highlights the new collaboration between the NCTR and Canada, and is a step towards a renewed relationship with Indigenous Peoples, accountability, and a stronger understanding of the legacy of Residential Schools.

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