• TRC TO INDUCT PAUL MARTIN AND SEVEN OTHERS AS
Apr 18, 2013

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) formally announces the Honourary Witnesses who will participate in the Québec National Event from April 24 to 27 to witness and share the stories of Indian Residential School Survivors.

Honourary Witnesses are called upon to be the keepers of history when a significant event occurs. Bearing witness to the thought-provoking stories of Survivors helps to validate their experiences. “The concept of witnessing is common to all ancient spiritual traditions,” explained TRC Commissioner Marie Wilson. “Being a witness to the truths of Survivors is something for all Canadians to undertake – Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal; this history belongs to all of us.”

She added, “The TRC is especially grateful to those public figures who have agreed to help inform Canadians about the residential schools, and to contribute to the process of reconciliation between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples.”

Michaëlle Jean was the TRC’s first Honourary Witness. She was inducted in October 2009 at a ceremony at Rideau Hall when she was Governor General. Ms Jean will be in Montréal to lead Education Day on April 24. She will “bear witness” to what she has seen and heard during a “Call to Gather” session beginning at 4 p.m., April 24.

Please see http://www.myrobust.com/websites/montreal/index.php?p=669 for program details.

The following Honourary Witnesses will be inducted during the “Call to Gather” on April 24, and will bear witness during Calls to Gather on subsequent days, as indicated.

Charles-Mathieu Brunelle – Director General of Montréal’s Space for Life (bearing witness April 27)

– Director General of Montréal’s Space for Life (bearing witness April 27)


Éloge Butera – Survivor of the genocide against Tutsis in Rwanda and human rights activist (bearing witness April 25)


– Survivor of the genocide against Tutsis in Rwanda and human rights activist (bearing witness April 25)


Renée Dupuis – lawyer and vice president of the Human Rights and Youth Rights Commission (bearing witness April 25)

lawyer and vice president of the Human Rights and Youth Rights Commission (bearing witness April 25)


Joé Juneau – Former National Hockey League player (bearing witness April 25)

– Former National Hockey League player (bearing witness April 25)


Viviane Michel – representing Québec Native Women Inc. (bearing witness April 27)

representing (bearing witness April 27)


Sandy White Hawk – representing the Maine Wabanaki State Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commission (bearing witness April 25)

– representing the (bearing witness April 25)


The following Honourary Witnesses will be inducted at 8:30 a.m. on April 26: Rt.


Honourable Paul Martin
– Former Prime Minister of Canada (bearing witness April 26)

Alanis Obamsawin – Documentary filmmaker (bearing witness April 26)

– Documentary filmmaker (bearing witness April 26)


Paul Martin said he is “very pleased to be an Honourary Witness to this important event in Canadian history.”

“It is important to remind all Canadians that like it or not the Residential Schools tragedy is part of our history and neglecting it only perpetuates the racism and stereotypes inherited from its time.”

The TRC Québec National Event will be held at the Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth Hotel from April 24 to 27. No registration is required, and the event is free. Everyone is invited.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission is an independent commission established as a result of the 2007 Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement. Its mandate is to inform all Canadians about what happened in the 150- year history of the residential schools in Canada, and to guide and inspire a process of reconciliation and renewed relationships based on mutual understanding and respect.


For media inquiries and interview request with Honorary Witnesses please contact:


Aurélie Arnaud
TRC media relations for the Québec National Event
arnaud.aurelie@gmail.com
514-239-0088


Heather Frayne
TRC Media Relations
heather.frayne@trc.ca
204-297-4853