OTTAWA – The Truth and Reconciliation Commons examining Canada’s now-defunct residential school system is scheduled to release its final report Tuesday. Here are five things to know about the commission.
1. The commission was established as part of the 2007 Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, which also included money to pay for the commission’s work.
2. The commission is led by Justice Murray Sinclair, Manitoba’s first aboriginal justice. The other commissioners are Marie Wilson, a journalist, university lecturer and former senior manager at several Crown corporations; and Chief Wilton Littlechild, a lawyer and former Progressive Conservative MP.
3. The group is charged with collecting testimony from residential school survivors and compiling their stories into a comprehensive historical record of the schools aimed at educating all Canadians about the residential schools and their legacy.
4. The records of the commission, including recollections from 6,200 former students, many of whom spoke on video, with be kept and managed by the National Research Centre on Indian Residential Schools at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, where they will be publicly accessible.
5. Residential schools operated for about 150 years, with an estimated 150,000 aboriginal children spending time in them. At the height of the residential-school era, the federal government supported 130 such schools. There are an estimated 80,000 survivors of the schools who are still alive.