• AFN Looks for Better Collaboration between the Government of Canada and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada
May 03, 2013

Agreement (IRSSA) tabled in Parliament today. More specifically, the Auditor General investigated issues related the creation of a complete historical record of the Indian Residential School (IRS) system and its legacy, a key element of the mandate of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).

The Auditor General found that Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) and the TRC have not taken adequate steps to ensure that as complete an historical record as possible is created. The report raises concerns related to the fact that AANDC has not provided all relevant documents and that the TRC has not adequately defined the scope of the records and has not resolved issues related to the establishment of the National Research Centre designated to house the documents. Stressing the importance of a complete historical record and permanent legacy of the TRC, the Auditor General recommends that AANDC and the TRC collaborate more effectively to define the work that remains to be completed and that the TRC should develop and implement a detailed plan for the transfer of the historical record to the national research centre. The report concludes that “the scope of the undertaking is still undefined. Canada and the Commission need to cooperate in order to assess what has been accomplished, what remains to be done, how long this will take, and what resources are required”.

“Since its beginning, AFN has fully supported the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in their mandate to learn and to document on what happened in the residential schools era,” said AFN National Chief Shawn-A-in-chut Atleo. “The records are an integral and important part to the healing process to all survivors and their families. Both the Government of Canada and the Commission need to work collaboratively to complete this mandate and give Canadians a chance to learn the truth about this sad chapter of our shared history.”

As outlined in the Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement, the TRC has a mandate to create as complete an historical record of what happened in the residential schools as possible and to inform all Canadians about the truth. The TRC will document what happened by relying on records held by those who operated and funded the schools, testimony from officials of the institutions that operated the schools, and experiences reported by survivors, their families, communities and anyone personally affected by the residential school experience and its subsequent impacts.

“As we saw last week at the TRC Québec National Event, reconciliation is a personal journey, one that needs to be supported through full and complete cooperation of all parties.  AFN fully supports each and every survivor on their journey toward healing and calls on the Government of Canada and the churches who ran these schools to ensure all information and records are provided – to bring us all one step closer to reconciliation and for closure for survivors and their families,” said National Chief Atleo.

The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing First Nations citizens in Canada. Follow AFN on Twitter @AFN_Comms, @AFN_Updates.


Contact information:

Jenna Young AFN Communications Officer 613-241-6789, ext 401; 613-314-8157 or jyoung@afn.ca

Alain Garon AFN Bilingual Communications Officer 613-241-6789, ext 382; 613-292-0857 or agaron@afn.ca