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Michael Champagne: We are all victims of residential school era

Michael Redhead Champagne. Photo from Facebook

Native youth activist Michael Redhead Champagne offers suggestions as the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Canada wraps up its work into the residential school era:
All Canadians are victims of Indian residential schools β€” whether you attended one of the schools, whether you're an inter-generationally affected relative, a parent left behind or a non-aboriginal person in Canada who was fed a false history.

It's important to also acknowledge much of the 96 per cent of Canada's population that isn't aboriginal have had their perceptions of indigenous people and communities altered in a negative way, because they haven't grown up knowing the role their government played in killing the Indian in the child. The government that they learned about in school was a lot more mean spirited and malicious than many Canadians could ever imagine.

This weekend is the conclusion of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and has many people asking the question: "What next?" The spotlight will shine on the courage and resilience of survivors and I hope the rest of Canada is paying attention.

When the TRC began, only 49 per cent of Canadians knew about residential schools. Over six years later, I hope the hard work of the commission can be articulated with clear recommendations for community and for government to realize together.

Get the Story:
Michael Redhead Champagne: All Canadians are victims of Indian residential schools (CBC 5/31)

Also Today:
Walk for reconciliation draws thousands to downtown Ottawa (CBC 5/31)
Residential school deaths need more study: commission (CP 5/31)
A look at the life of TRC commissioner Murray Sinclair (CP 6/1)
Manitobans travel to Ottawa for final Truth and Reconciliation Commission event (CBC 6/1)
Truth and Reconciliation: Aboriginal people conflicted as commission wraps up after 6 years (CBC 6/1)

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