Justice Murray Sinclair’s parents lived residential schools experience

Truth and Reconciliation Commission Chair Justice Murray Sinclair listens during the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada British Columbia National Event in Vancouver on Sept. 18. Darryl Dyck / The Canadian Press

A look a the life and career of Justice Murray Sinclair, head of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission:

Born — 1951, near Selkirk, Man. Both his parents and grandparents were sent to residential schools.

Education — Attended the University of Winnipeg and University of Manitoba, graduating from the faculty of law at the University of Manitoba in 1979. Honorary degrees from the University of Manitoba and the University of Ottawa.

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Career — Called to the Manitoba bar in 1980 and specialized in aboriginal legal issues. Appointed associate chief judge of the provincial court of Manitoba in 1988. Co-commissioner of Manitoba’s Aboriginal Justice Inquiry the same year. Presided over a 2000 inquest into the deaths of 12 children in the pediatric cardiac surgery program at Winnipeg’s Health Sciences Centre. Adjunct professor at the University of Manitoba.

Family — He and wife, Katherine Morrisseau-Sinclair, have four children: Manon Beaudrie, James, Déne and Gazheek. One granddaughter, Sarah Fontaine-Sinclair.

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For the record — “This is not an aboriginal story. This is not only about the experience of those who were students in the school. This is also the story about Canada’s experience. While they were indoctrinating aboriginal people into believing that their people were inferior, their languages were irrelevant, their cultures were not worth protecting, the very same message was being given to students in public schools in this country.” — Sinclair on Canada’s residential school policy.


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