The Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) is greatly encouraged by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s final report and subsequent “Calls to Action.”
Ninety-four recommendations call on all levels of government to take action to redress the disgraceful legacy of residential schools.
Work began in June of 2008 to document and preserve indefinitely the stories of the First Nation, Inuit and Métis families who survived the system designed to “Kill the Indian in the child.”
“I have nothing but admiration and respect for those who had the courage to share their stories and relive the trauma that was brought on by residential schools. The loss of family connection, identity and the physical, sexual and spiritual abuse that went on has scarred seven generations of Aboriginal families. This was clearly, an act of cultural genocide,” said PSAC National President Robyn Benson.
Benson also praised the work of Chairperson Justice Murray Sinclair, Dr Marie Wilson and Chief Wilton Littlechild in their role as Commissioners, “The selfless dedication of those who for more than 5 years listened to the stories of survivors, sifted through 100 years of evidence, all to come up with this historic series of recommendations is truly remarkable.”
- the government of Canada jointly develop with Aboriginal peoples a Royal Proclamation of Reconciliation to reaffirm the nation-to-nation relationship between Aboriginal peoples and the Crown;
- a public enquiry into the more than 1200 Aboriginal women who have been murdered or gone missing be established;
- an annual “State of Aboriginal Peoples” report be developed;
- the government of Canada adopt the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples;
- curricula describing the impacts of the residential school system be developed and delivered in all Canadian schools; and that,
- a monument to all survivors be erected.
Recommendation for public service workers
One recommendation is particularly close to home:
- A call for all public servants to be educated on the history and legacy of Aboriginal peoples, residential schools, treaties and Aboriginal rights, Indigenous law and Aboriginal Crown Relations.