Truth and Reconciliation Commission
Headed by Murray Sinclair, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission has shifted its focus towards the disposition of Aboriginal peoples as well as the state of residential schools in Canada. The issue of aboriginal peoples has inspired considerable comments especially from victims as well as concerned citizens. In one article, reflections have been drawn concerning the events in relation to the impact of the TR & C’s presentation of the summary document on the empathetic victim’s self, family, and people (Maracle 3; Puxley 5). Such reflections set the stage for understanding the causative factors for what media journalists term as ‘cultural genocide’ of the country’s residential schools (Smith 1; Tasker 3). In accordance with the findings of the TR & C’s investigations, residential schools have been placed as the main drivers responsible for the elimination of native culture in Canada’s education and social system. While referring to the Commission’s summary document, Puzic (2) notes that, “Canadian officials separated aboriginal children from their parents and sent them to residential schools not to educate them, but primarily to break their link to their culture and identity”.
Accordingly, the actions undertaken by residential schools in ridding culture, particularly among Aboriginal people, formed the basis of the TR & C in the first place (Kennedy 2). As an outcome, Sinclair has been on the verge of uncovering facts surrounding the occurrence of cultural genocide within the respective institutions. In a show of empathy, Sinclair also disclosed the heart-wrenching experiences that his father underwent at a time when the state’s aboriginal policy was in full effect (Kennedy 5). Interestingly, the discussions on this issue raise future implications for other ethnic-based residential schools based in Canada. Noting such implications seems to have encouraged focus on contemporary aspects that may attempt to influence the deterioration of native culture in the state of Canada (“Manitoba Apologizes to Indigenous Families for ‘Cultural Loss’ 11). In the most recent occurrence, much attention has been drawn to understanding some of the aspects that presently contribute to cultural degradation particularly in respect to the Aboriginal people.
Graham (3) covers the concerns raised by Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin regarding the stereotypical notions encompassing Aborigines as an outcome of influences arising from electronic media such as video games. Aside from such efforts to put an end to stereotypical ideas, the TR & C’s summary document has exerted influence on the need to ensure reconciliation efforts particularly by the Canadian government (Boyden 6). In one article, the journalist asserts that the government needs to employ actions by transitioning from apologetic statements (“Truth and Reconciliation Commission Urges Canada to Confront ‘Cultural Genocide’ of Residential Schools”). On the other hand, the findings of the respective Commission have inspired positive sentiments with most people using social media as an avenue for extending their approval of the TR & C’s efforts to ensure that justice is served. Even though the document seems to rise past situations that are particularly dark for the state and its civilians, it provides a platform that supports reconciliatory efforts (Gruending 7; Petz 4; Woolford 2).
Additionally, the presentation of the findings by Sinclair’s group influence the information of the public especially regarding events that form a dark part of Canada’s history (Tremonti 3; “Truth and Reconciliation: Looking Back on a Landmark Week for Canada.”). Furthermore, the outcome of the TR & C’s investigations give the premise to the hope that the government will embrace and implement efforts aimed at nurturing social change (Curtis 3; “Sinclair Confident TRC Report will be Embraced”). In its own positive way, the findings provided by Sinclair’s Commission encourage modern-day Canadians to arise and assume the “enormous challenge of righting the wrongs committed by residential schools, even if it takes generations to reverse the ongoing effects of cultural genocide” (Fiddler 6; Smith 1).
“Manitoba Apologizes to Indigenous Families for ‘Cultural Loss’”. BBC News. BBC News Services, 19 June 2015. Web. 3 November 2015. <http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-33203840/>
“Sinclair Confident TRC Report will be Embraced.” NewsKamloops. NewsKamloops, 26 October 2015. Web. 3 November 2015. <http://www.newskamloops.com/blog/post/sinclair-confident-trc-report-will-be-embraced/>
“Truth and Reconciliation Commission Urges Canada to Confront ‘Cultural Genocide’ of Residential Schools.” CBC News. CBC/Radio Canada, 2 June 2015. Web. 3 November 2015. <http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/truth-and-reconciliation-commission-urges-canada-to-confront-cultural-genocide-of-residential-schools-1.3096229/>
“Truth and Reconciliation: Looking Back on a Landmark Week for Canada.” CBC News. CBC News, 6 June 2015. Web. 3 November 2015. <http://www.cbc.ca/news/aboriginal/truth-and-reconciliation-looking-back-on-a-landmark-week-for-canada-1.3102956/>
Boyden, Joseph. “First Came Truth. Now Comes the Hard Part.” Maclean’s. Rogers Media, 25 June 2015. Web. 3 November 2015. <http://www.macleans.ca/news/canada/first-came-truth-now-comes-the-hard-part/>
Curtis, Christopher. “Canada’s Aboriginals a Growing Force in Federal Politics.” Turtle Island News. Turtle Island News, 5 October 2015. Web. 3 November 2015. <http://www.theturtleislandnews.com/daily/mailer_stories/oct052015/Canadas-aboriginals-a-growing-force-in-federal-politics-20100515.html/>
Fiddler, Meagan. “Independent Magazine Offers Indigenous Youth a New Voice.” CBC News. CBC/Radio Canada, 14 October 2015. Web. 3 November 2015. <http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/independent-magazine-offers-indigenous-youth-a-new-voice-1.3269651/>
Graham, Jennifer. “Chief Justice Suggests Using Electronic Media to End Aboriginal Stereotypes.” The Globe and Mail. Philip Crawley, 16 October 2015. Web. 3 November 2015. <http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/chief-justice-suggests-using-electronic-media-to-end-aboriginal-stereotypes/article26855134/>
Gruending, Dennis. “Truth and Reconciliation on Indian Residential Schools: The Road Ahead.” rabble.ca. rabble.ca, 29 May 2015. Web. 3 November 2015. <http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/dennis-gruending/2015/05/truth-and-reconciliation-on-indian-residential-schools-road-/>
Kennedy, Mark. “Truth Seeker: Murray Sinclair’s Relentless Quest for the Facts about Residential Schools.” Ottawa Citizen. Postmedia Network, 22 May 2015. Web. 3 November 2015. <http://ottawacitizen.com/news/politics/truth-seeker-murray-sinclairs-relentless-quest-for-the-truth-about-residential-schools/>
Maracle, Lee. “I Couldn’t Forget: Reflections on Truth and Reconciliation.” The Canadian Encyclopedia. n. p. 24 July 2015. Web. 3 November 2015. <http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/i-couldnt-forget-reflections-on-truth-and-reconciliation/>
Montagne, Renee. “Canadian Commission Releases ‘Damning’ Report on Treatment of Aboriginal Children.” npr. NPR, 4 June 2015. Web. 3 November 2015. <http://www.npr.org/2015/06/04/411917428/canadian-commission-releases-damning-report-on-treatment-of-aboriginal-children/>
Petz, Sarah. “Understanding between Aboriginals, Non-Aboriginals Key to Reconciliation, Sinclair Says.” Sault Star.com. Postmedia Network, 30 July 2015. Web. 3 November 2015. <http://www.saultstar.com/2015/07/30/understanding-between-aboriginals-non-aboriginals-key-to-reconciliation-sinclair-says/>
Puxley, Chinta. “Up to 6000 Children Died at Canada’s Residential Schools, Report Finds.” The Canadian Press. Shaw Media Inc., 31 May 2015. Web. 3 November 2015. <http://globalnews.ca/news/2027587/deaths-at-canadas-indian-residential-schools-need-more-study-commission/>
Puzic, Sonja. “Residential Schools Amounted to ‘Cultural Genocide,’ TRC Report Says.” CTV News. Bell Media, 2 June 2015. Web. 3 November 2015. <http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/residential-schools-amounted-to-cultural-genocide-trc-report-says-1.2402093/>
Smith, Joanna. “Canada’s Residential Schools Cultural Genocide, Truth, and Reconciliation Commission Says.” thestar.com. thestar.com, 2 June 2015. Web. 3 November 2015. <http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2015/06/02/canadas-residential-schools-cultural-genocide-truth-and-reconciliation-commission-says.html/>
Tasker, John Paul. “Residential Schools Finding Point to ‘Cultural Genocide,’ Commission Chair Says”. CBC News. CBC News, 29 May 2015. Web. 3 November 2015. <http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/residential-schools-findings-point-to-cultural-genocide-commission-chair-says-1.3093580/>
Tremonti, Anna Maria. “Before Reconciliation Canada Must Understand Its Own History.” CBC Radio. CBC/Radio Canada, 3 June 2015. Web. 3 November 2015. <http://www.cbc.ca/radio/thecurrent/the-current-for-june-3-2015-1.3098138/before-reconciliation-canada-must-understand-its-own-history-1.3098210/>
Woolford, Andrew. “Truth, Reconciliation Demand for Social Change.” Winnipeg Free Press. Winnipeg Free Press, 6 June 2015. Web. 3 November 2015. <http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/analysis/truth-reconciliation–demand-societal-change-306360601.html/>