Today the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada released a summary of its findings after a 6-year journey across qaymษฉฯสทย (Aboriginal) territories in Canada. The summary was the result of the dedicated commissioners and staff who travelled to many communities to bear witness to the heartbreaking stories from survivors. The stories were horrific in nature but helped to create important dialogue about the truth of the cultural genocide which rapidly occurred at the residential schools.
Klahoose First Nation would like to take the opportunity to give thanks for the many survivors who have sacrificed so much to attend, witness and share stories. It is important to us because we realize without their participation, the improvements for the future cannot be attained. Our hands are raised high in respect to survivors for making this courageous effort as it requires much bravery. Accountability has been void within the government since the apology in 2008 and at this point real reconciliation is still yet to occur. The hope perhaps is the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada will help provide meaningful actions to correct this.
In addition, Klahoose would also like to recognize the Honorable Justice Murray Sinclaire, Dr. Marie Wilson and Chief Wilton Littlechild for the hard work and strong voices on all our behalf. The work is just beginning but you have laid the foundation for what can truly reset the relationship between First Nations and the Crown. Reconciliation begins with good relationships and you have been great mentors to guide the way.
The scars from the residential school trauma are very real. Our communities have been left with residual inter-generational effects which have created a legacy of shame, fear and mistrust. We have no excuses to turn a blind eye to these conditions and it is shameful to ignore the issues any further. Klahoose is in full agreement with the 94 recommendations by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and we encourage fellow Chiefs and Councilors to do the same. Klahoose pledges to continue to make every effort to support reconciliation.
It is for our ancestors and our children we make this pledge.
Klahoose First Nation
On behalf of Council: Kathy Francis, Kevin Peacey and Billy Barnes
Calls to Action, by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada:Download KFN Open Letter TRC 2015 PDF