Coming to you today from Winnipeg, where I am honoured to be witnessing first-hand a major milestone in the history of Canada. Over the last few weeks I have added significantly to my personal Canadian citizenship listing of landmark Canadian occasions that I have experienced.
Today at the University of Manitoba, the opening ceremonies for the National Centre on Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR) kick-off, and together with Patti MacDougall (Vice Provost, Teaching and Learning), and Candace Wasacase-Lafferty, Director, Aboriginal Initiatives, I am here to deliver greetings from President Stoicheff and our campus community, and to acknowledge the U of M’s commitment to truth and reconciliation.
NCTR was created to preserve the memory of Canada’s Residential School system and legacy and is located at the University of Manitoba. The Centre’s archive holds, “a vast collection of documents, oral history and other records that detail the systematic and intentional attempt to assimilate the Aboriginal peoples of Canada.” The NCTR was created to ensure that:
- Survivors and their families have access to their own history
- Educators can share the Residential School history with new generations of students
- Researchers can delve more deeply into Residential School experience
- The public can access historical records and other materials to help foster reconciliation and healing
- The history and legacy of the Residential School system are never forgotten.