Just as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced plans to reset Canada’s relationship with indigenous communities, McGill-Queen’s University Press has announced they are publishing a six-volume edition of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s final report in both French and English.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission was established in 2008, with a mandate to investigate and report on what happened in Indian Residential Schools. Starting in the 1870s and closing in 1996, over 150,000 First Nations, Inuit and Métis children were sent to residential schools across the country, where they were banned from using their own languages and often subjected to physical and sexual abuse.
Trudeau’s five priorities include implementing all 94 recommendations made by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in June and launching a national inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women. He made the announcement in an address to a group of First Nations leaders in Gatineau, Quebec, on Tuesday.
McGill-Queen’s University Press will publish an edition of the commission’s final report after it is officially released this month. The Commission released a summary last June with 94 recommendations, including changes in policies and programs. Its chair, Justice Murray Sinclair, called Canada’s treatment of aboriginal children a “cultural genocide” on communities.
The publisher said the final report is expected to be over 2 million words long, with testimony from over 6,750 survivors of Indian Residential Schools. The first volume of the six editions will be split into two parts and will cover a history of residential schools from its origins to 2000. The remaining editions describe the Inuit and Métis individual experiences, the legacy of residential schools and the recommended processes of reconciliation.
“This is one of the most important documents to emerge in the history of Canada. These ground-breaking volumes are destined to work towards healing the breach of silence and ignorance that has surrounded these issues for more than a century,” said Philip Cercone, executive director of McGill-Queen’s University Press in a news release.
The full report will also be made available on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s website on December 15.