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On June 11, 2008, then Prime Minister of Canada, the Right Honourable Stephen Harper, made a Statement of Apology to former students of Indian Residential Schools on behalf of the Government of Canada for the emotional, physical, sexual, spiritual, cultural and mental abuse they experienced while in care at the schools, and as part of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement and Common Experience Payment process.

More than five generations of Indigenous children were often not provided with a proper education, nutrition, and care while in the schools and the detrimental effects on them and their families have severely impeded their ability to develop life skills and/or to thrive as adults or as parents. These deep traumas along with all forms of racism that still exists have significantly contributed to the social and economic conditions of Indigenous Peoples in Canada today, such as poverty, the loss of language, culture, identity, poor mental and physical health factors, disruption of family and community relationships, traditions, etc. Many First Nations chose not to participate and receive the payments, and/or were not included in the process, if their school records could not be found. Students who attended Day Schools were not recognized either. Both Inuit and Metis children also attended Residential Schools, however due to jurisdictional issues many were excluded from the Apology, the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement and the Common Experience Payment process.

This 10th Year Commemorative Exhibit was created to acknowledge the dark chapter in Canada’s history, to remember the Survivors who made it out of the Schools, and to honour those who did not, so that we can learn, change, take action and build respectful relationships between Canadians and Indigenous Peoples moving forward. These relationships must be based on integrity, understanding, empathy, and appreciation for their resilience of Indigenous Peoples and for the many invaluable contributions that formed the foundation of this country we now share. This Exhibit provides all Canadians with a unique opportunity to reflect on what they have learned, what actions they can take and what Reconciliation means for them and what they want for the journey forward.

We invite you to share your message of peace, hope and Reconciliation. Share your story

Your Stories

It is something that matters to all Canadians.

All healing together

Reconciliation is a shared journey with no end date. Awareness only comes about if all voices are repected and listened to.

We must always remember- Remember what happened Remember what was done Remember who we were before Remember who we are now Remember that we must walk this journey together Remember our contributions, our values + remember to love and honour one another.

Both my Grandmothers attended the schools. I'm still learning my language and culture. Miigwetch for the opportunity.

Tears of sorrow Heart full of love Rainbow for hope. I am sorry and promise to walk forward together to build solutions supported and guided by you, the Indigenious people - Karren

Start with our own. Love each other and respect on another and always embrace your truth. <3

Peace, Courage and togetherness on your road forward. - P.skene

I am Here - Thomas

All healing together

To Survivors Keep talking These stories must go worldwide So it will nebver happen again

Carrying Truth forward to the world and to better relations to each and people of color throughout the world for continuing health and happiness

never forget and ensure wrongs of the past are remembered and not repeated

Reconciliation is my personal positive obligation. Every act, every question, every safe space I create is essential. <3

We will be your voice

I hope my family as well as all families can continue a journey of healing and forgiveness.

We have worked with many Surviors over the years. Strength and a willingness to share. Reconciliation requires action and we must move beyond words. We need ACTION not a healing path. - Michael

Today-would've been my mother's 76th birthday- I remember her strength + courage; I remember her times at St Mary IRS (Kenora) Missing You Love You Always Your Eldest Daughter - M