What is Truth and Reconciliation (First Nations)?


Bringing First Nations children into public schools was one of the government’s first steps towards reconciliation: an effort to heal all the lives they had broken with the treaties and residential schools.

Both the Anglican Church and the Canadian government admitted their mistakes in the residential school system. Unfortunately, this only happened after residential school survivors began to take to court to sue the system that ruined their lives.

Truth and Reconciliation Commission

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC)

It wasn’t until 2007 that the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement began—over 20 years after the closure of the last residential school. This agreement created the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) to learn about the impact of residential schools. It is the Commission’s job to educate the Canadian public about the history and experiences of the students and their families.

After listening to the shared experiences of residential school survivors and their families, the TRC wrote a Final Report. The report was released in 2015 to highlight the terrible experiences of these survivors and highlight their strength. The Final Report marked the first time the horrific nature of residential schools was presented, marking an historic occasion and an important step towards reconciliation.

The TRC also released a series of 94 Calls to Action, a series of rallying points for indigenous and non-indigenous peoples to further pursue reconciliation.

CIES Guides are a volunteer-led project made possible through contributions from the community.

Thanks to Alexandra Hutchinson for help with this guide. If you want to suggest a correction to this guide, or want to submit one of your own, please contact us.

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TIES is located on the traditional territories of the people of the Treaty 7 region, which includes the Blackfoot Confederacy comprising the Siksika, Piikani and Kanai First Nations, the Tsuut’ina First Nation, and the Stoney Nakoda including the Chiniki, Bearspaw and Wesley First Nations. The City of Calgary is also home to Métis Nation of Alberta, Region III.