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Message from the First Director

Ry Moran, Director of the NCTR

Welcome to the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR).

On this site and at the Centre, you will find a vast collection of documents, oral histories and other records that detail the systematic and intentional attempt to assimilate the Indigenousl Peoples of Canada. Much of the material you interact with will be difficult, but as difficult as this history may be, this is the history of Canada and it is history we all need to know.

Also interwoven throughout these records are incredible accounts of strength and resilience. The records contain rich and dynamic stories from Indigenous cultures that resisted every attempt to eliminate them from the Canadian landscape. You’ll also find moving accounts of meaningful reconciliation and sincere promises by people from all walks of life to make this country a better, more respectful place for all people.

And while some of the records detail humanity at its worst, others demonstrate humanity at its best.

Everything recorded in this collection has a direct effect on the present day relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Peoples in this country. Think about how what you discover here is reflected in the present day. Think about the conversations we need to have in this country to heal the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Peoples that has existed for far too long.

Here at the NCTR, with the University of Manitoba as our base and an amazing network of partners, our mandate roots us in history and our vision for the future is clear: The preservation of this collection is a sacred obligation.

We preserve these records so that at no point in the future can people question what happened at the residential schools; so that we all may remember what we are capable of, both good and bad; and so that we never forget the courage, strength and determination of the Survivors that went through the residential school system.

This is your Centre. This is our past. And the future is ours to create together.

Have a look through the collection, explore, learn and feel.

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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.