Learning From The Past

The General Synod Archives, Anglican Church of Canada: P7538 (136)

From the heartbreak of the Residential School System comes new hope for reconciliation and healing. Stories shared by thousands of former students will find a permanent home at the University of Manitoba. The university is honoured to be chosen by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) to host a National Research Centre on Residential Schools. The University of Manitoba joined hands with communities across Canada on June 21, National Aboriginal Day, for the signing of this historic agreement.

The U of M will play a key role in the preservation of all statements, documents and other materials collected during the Commission’s five-year mandate. The centre supports the TRC’s aim to inform all Canadians about what happened in the 150-year history of the Residential School System, and to guide and inspire a process of reconciliation and renewed relationships based on mutual understanding and respect.

The National Research Centre will be located on the U of M campus and will house thousands of video- and audio-recorded statements from Survivors and others affected by the schools and their legacy; millions of archival documents and photographs from the Government of Canada and Canadian church entities; works of art, artifacts and other expressions of reconciliation presented at TRC events; and research collected and prepared by the Commission.

The U of M is committed to Indigenous Achievement and to making Manitoba a Centre of Excellence for Indigenous education and research. We encourage debate and discussion around the understanding of human rights, peace and justice, and respect for others. In our proposal to host the National Research Centre, we emphasized local, regional and national partnerships; meaningful Survivor and community engagement; a solid governance model; world-class archival expertise and facilities; privacy and access expertise; public education and awareness; and financial stability.