The Truth and Reconciliation Commission was established with the mandate of providing a voice for Indian residential school survivors. Their goals are as follows:
(a) Acknowledge Residential School experiences, impacts and consequences;
(b) Provide a holistic, culturally appropriate and safe setting for former students, their families and communities as they come forward to the Commission;
(c) Witness, support, promote and facilitate truth and reconciliation events at both the national and community levels;
(d) Promote awareness and public education of Canadians about the IRS system and its impacts;
(e) Identify sources and create as complete an historical record as possible of the IRS system and legacy. The record shall be preserved and made accessible to the public for future study and use;
(f) Produce and submit to the Parties of the Agreement a report including recommendations to the Government of Canada concerning the IRS system and experience including: the history, purpose, operation and supervision of the IRS system, the effect and consequences of IRS (including systemic harms, intergenerational consequences and the impact on human dignity) and the ongoing legacy of the residential schools;
(g) Support commemoration of former Indian Residential School students and their families in accordance with the Commemoration Policy Directive (Schedule “X” of the Agreement).
To date, the federal government has refused to hand over millions of Indian residential school documents still locked away in its vaults, despite the Truth and Reconciliation Commission inching closer to the end of its mandate in 2014. The documents originate from 23 federal departments and agencies ranging from the RCMP, the Office of the Privy Council to Parks Canada and are held by the Library and Archives Canada.
In order to fulfill its goals and mandate by 2014, the TRC requires the release by the Library and Archives, the millions of documents mentioned above and is therefore applying to the Ontario Supreme Court of Justice to force Ottawa’s hand to release the documents. In addition, the TRC wants the court to issue a definition on Canada’s responsibility on the production of residential school documents. A decision by the court could order Canada to pay the cost of such an endeavor.
By signing and sharing this petition with others you will be sending a message to Ottawa that the time has come to live the words of the apology spoken by Stephen Harper to residential school survivors, so that history will never be repeated.
It is with this open heart that these words are spoken so that you with an open heart may hear them.