This website will change as a result of the dissolution of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, the creation of Indigenous Services Canada and the eventual creation of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada. During this transformation, you may also wish to consult the updated Indigenous and Northern Affairs home page.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) provided those directly or indirectly affected by the legacy of the Indian Residential Schools system with an opportunity to share their stories and experiences.
The Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, the largest class-action settlement in Canadian history, began to be implemented in 2007. One of the elements of the agreement was the establishment of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada to facilitate reconciliation among former students, their families, their communities and all Canadians.
The official mandate of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission is found in Schedule "N" of the Settlement Agreement which includes the principles that guided the Commission in its important work.
Between 2007 and 2015, the Government of Canada provided about $72 million to support the TRC's work. The TRC spent six years travelling to all parts of Canada and heard from more than 6,500 witnesses. The TRC also hosted seven national events across Canada to engage the Canadian public, educate people about the history and legacy of the residential schools system, and share and honour the experiences of former students and their families.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission created a historical record of the residential schools system. As part of this process, the Government of Canada provided over five million records to the TRC. The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation at the University of Manitoba will house all of the documents collected by the TRC.
In June 2015, the TRC held its Closing Event in Ottawa and presented the Executive Summary of the findings contained in its multi-volume Final Report, including 94 "calls to action" (or recommendations) PDF Format (298 Kb, 20 pages) to further reconciliation between Canadians and Indigenous peoples.
In December 2015, the TRC released its entire six-volume Final Report. All Canadians are encouraged to read the summary PDF Format (11.97 Mb, 536 pages) or the Final Report to learn more about the terrible history of Indian Residential Schools and its sad legacy.
The Government of Canada continues to be committed to a renewed nation-to-nation relationship with Indigenous peoples based on recognition of rights, respect, co-operation and partnership. The Government of Canada will work closely with provinces, territories, First Nations, the Métis Nation, Inuit groups and church entities to implement recommendations of the TRC and further reconciliation to the benefit of all Canadians. This will include the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
The Government of Canada also recognizes that true reconciliation goes beyond the scope of the Commission's recommendations. The Prime Minister announced that Canada will work with leaders of First Nations, the Métis Nation, Inuit, provinces and territories, parties to the Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement, and other key partners, to design a national engagement strategy for developing and implementing a national reconciliation framework, informed by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's recommendations.
As an important step in rebuilding Canada's relationship with Indigenous peoples, the Prime Minister of Canada met with leaders of the National Indigenous Organizations on December 16, 2015, in Ottawa to continue the dialogue on reconciliation. At that meeting, the Prime Minister committed to National Indigenous Organizations that he would meet with them annually in order to sustain and advance progress on shared priorities.