Truth and Reconciliation Commission

by Richard Long,

As we continue to stand in the gap for the healing of our land we are entering into another phase of the reconciliation between the Colonizers and the Aboriginal peoples especially around the Residential Schools issue.  We need to stay engaged as intercessors in this next step.

That means we have a 5 year project ahead of us.  The commissioners of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission have now been appointed and will begin their work on June 1st, 2008.

Here’s the terms of reference for their important work.

The IRSSA was approved by the Courts and came into effect on September 19, 2007. It includes the following individual and collective measures to address the legacy of the Indian Residential School system:
  • Common Experience Payment to be paid to all eligible former students who resided at a recognized Indian Residential School;
  • Independent Assessment Process for claims of sexual and serious physical abuse;
  • Truth and Reconciliation Commission;
  • Commemoration Activities;
  • Measures to support healing such as the Indian Residential Schools Resolution Health Support Program and an endowment to the Aboriginal Healing Foundation.
As a component of the Agreement, the Indian Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission will be an official independent body that will oversee a process to provide former students and anyone who has been affected by the Indian Residential School legacy, with an opportunity to share their individual experiences in a safe and culturally appropriate manner.
Over the course of its five-year mandate, the Commission will:
  • Prepare a comprehensive historical record on the policies and operations of the schools;
  • Complete a publicly accessible report that will include recommendations to the Government of Canada concerning the Indian Residential School system and its legacy;
  • Establish a research centre by the end of the it’s mandate that will be a permanent resource for all Canadians;
  • Host seven national events in different regions across Canada to promote awareness and public education about the Indian Residential School system and its impacts;
  • Support events designed by individual communities to meet their unique needs;
  • Support a Commemoration Initiative that will provide funding for activities that honour and pay tribute in a permanent and lasting manner to former Indian Residential School students.

We will continue to post information about this so that we can pray in an informed manner.


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