‘Years of pain and anguish’: Sask. First Nations leader on TRC report

SASKATOON – Saskatchewan First Nations leaders are hoping the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) marks the path to healing and forgiveness. Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (FSIN) Chief Bobby Cameron says the findings confirm what many have known for years — that many children sent to residential schools faced serious danger and several never returned.

“Let’s not forget the many people who have died in residential school. Many unsolved murders. You’ll hear it from the survivors. Many of them have witnessed their peers getting beaten so bad, where all of a sudden they disappeared. Questions unanswered to this day,” said Cameron.

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READ MORE: Residential schools subjected students to disease, abuse, experiments: TRC report

He adds that the country needs to come together to ensure that future generations don’t have to go through the same abuse.

“We have to forgive. But more importantly we have to heal. And to ensure that this never ever happens to our children, our grandchildren and the unborn. That’s the focus and priority,” he said.

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The commission heard from thousands of survivors and found that disease, accidents, fires, and physical and sexual abuse are only some of the dangers children in residential schools had to battle with.

Cameron describes residential schools as “years of pain and anguish” and says it’s important to start looking ahead.

“Now that time has come to begin that healing journey. And some of our First Nations people are on that path, but there are many others who still require that support, that healing, those prayers,” he said.

The final TRC report is available on their website.

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