The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada has chosen the University of Manitoba to host a new research centre that will house all the materials gathered by the commission. The research centre will “carry on the work and spirit of truth and reconciliation long after the commission closes its doors,” said commission chair Justice Murray Sinclair at a ceremony on campus in June. The commission’s five-year mandate ends in June 2014.
The centre will house thousands of video and audio statements and research that the commission is conducting with survivors and others affected by the schools and their legacy, along with millions of archival documents and photographs, plus works of art and other “expressions of reconciliation” presented at commission events.
The commission was formed as part of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement of 2007 with a mandate to chronicle what happened during the 150-year history of Canada’s residential school system. That system, and the harm it did to First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples, “represents one of the most tragic human rights failures in Canadian history,” said U of Manitoba president David Barnard.