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Message from the Executive Director

Stephanie Scott, Executive Director

Boozhoo, welcome to the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation website. The NCTR’s spirit name is bezhig miigwan, meaning “one feather.” 

The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR) is honoured to hold, with care, the Survivor statements and records gathered during the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) and beyond. Our mandate is to share the true history on behalf of all Survivors to educate all Canadians about residential schools and Indigenous history in Canada and internationally. 

Every day we remember the children who never returned home from the schools and the Survivors’ resilience and strength in our work. Through the Survivors lived experiences we hope to educate, to inspire and support future generations to move forward on the path to reconciliation. There are still generations of work to come.

Officially opening in summer 2015, the NCTR is born from the TRC mandate to create a permanent archive for all of the statements, documents, sacred items and other materials it gathered over its years of operation. 

The NCTR is committed to continuing the work and sharing of the oral histories and records of Survivors. Research projects are underway to find the names of missing children who never returned home. Community engagement has begun to assist communities to memorialize residential schools and sites to aid in education and healing. We cannot do the work of reconciliation alone, we must work with partners, and we encourage dialogue on the many issues that stand in the way of reconciliation.

The NCTR is a place of understanding and resilience as well as a place of reflection and connection. It uses exhibits, online dialogues and partnerships grounded by Survivors to invite participation and learning for all generations in Canada. This website is an online portal into truth and reconciliation. We hope it is a place where people of all backgrounds can embark on journeys of self-discovery, gain respect for individual differences and experience the strength and beauty of Indigenous culture, peoples and communities.

This is an exciting time for the NCTR as we have just celebrated our fifth anniversary, hosted by the University of Manitoba. We are looking forward as we develop a new strategic plan for the next five years in the reconciliation journey. On behalf of the NCTR staff, miigwech/thank you/merci for your support and continued efforts as we work to achieve our collective goal of reconciliation. Most of all, we would like to thank and recognize all the Survivors and intergenerational Survivors who have supported and continue to support us through this journey. Survivors are the reason we are here today, and we are working hard to achieve the goals they laid out for us. 

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NCTR’s spirit name – bezhig miigwan, meaning “one feather”.

Bezhig miigwan calls upon us to see each Survivor coming to the NCTR as a single eagle feather and to show those Survivors the same respect and attention an eagle feather deserves. It also teaches we are all in this together — we are all one, connected, and it is vital to work together to achieve reconciliation.