The long and emotionally painful process of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission has finally concluded and some harsh truths have come out of the report. Nothing that hasn’t already been said before, but seeing it all in one place has, we hope, had an impact.
We must never forget this part of our country’s past—indeed, we agree future generations should learn about the cultural genocide that occurred so close to home, just as they learn of the Holocaust that happened half a world away. Now it is time to move on in a nurturing, empowering manner.
It is time to move forward from these residential school horror stories to live new stories of healing and progress. We must honour those who we have lost through the process, celebrate those who have survived and ensure this never happens again.
We hope our country may draw strength from the Truth and Reconciliation process itself; that our aboriginal neighbours may find healing in the telling of their oral history, however painful it was; and that they may find strength in the acknowledgement that what happened was wrong.
The commission has made 94 recommendations that officials feel will go a long way toward healing our country.
Tseshaht First Nation Chief Councillor Hugh Braker said the recommendations ‘are measured, wide ranging, constructive and, ultimately, aimed at healing and reconciliation. The government should immediately put in place a plan to implement the recommendations.’
We agree. Canada’s leaders and citizens must take these recommendations seriously, and most importantly deal with them in a timely manner.
Only then can the healing begin.
— Alberni Valley News