Thursday, June 4, 2015

Choked-Up With Emotion About the Residential Schools Commission

I thought that the historic event deserved some sort of commentary, but I don't have the time to do it justice and I didn't want to type some half-thought through statement.

The thing is weighing on me. So many thoughts spinning around in my head.

According to Vice, the First Nations had to pay for it themselves out of their compensation package.
It is an appropriate end to a troubled commission. From the start, the TRC has been plagued by confusion, particularly regarding its relationship with the federal government. One of the most common misconceptions about the TRC is that it was initiated by the government of Canada. In fact, it was part of the Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement. But what is that?

In 2007, on behalf of the approximately 80,000 living former students, the Indian Residential School Survivors Society successfully sued the Government of Canada and the churches that operated the schools on their behalf. It took six years of negotiation, and remains the largest class-action lawsuit in Canadian history. While the government agreed to the compensation, it was the former students themselves who insisted on a truth commission. In 2008, the TRC was established, drawing its budget from that overall settlement. In other words, as TRC Commissioner Justice Murray Sinclair put it, "The Commission functions with survivor money."
I hope "Idle No More" has a strategy to integrate their protests with the upcoming election.

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