OTTAWA — Today, residential school Survivors and the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR) welcomed the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, to announce funding from the Government of Canada for the Centre’s work. Minister Miller joined the NCTR at the future site of the Centre’s permanent home at the University of Manitoba.
In Budget 2022, Canada announced $60 million in funding towards the overall cost of the Centre’s new facility, in addition to support for community-led efforts to locate, identify, memorialize and commemorate missing children and unmarked burials, and the full disclosure of federal documents related to residential schools.
With this funding, the NCTR will build an international learning centre where Survivors, their families and people from across Canada and around the world can come to learn the truth about residential schools. With this support, the NCTR will fulfill its vision of a home for sacred items, millions of historical records, and thousands of Survivor statements gathered during the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) — along with many other sacred items and records that will be gathered in the years to come.
In addition, today the Government of Canada announced funding of $28.5 million over five years for the NCTR to continue its vital work, including collecting, reviewing, and making accessible residential school records, and supporting community-led efforts to locate and identify unmarked burials. The funding will support numerous initiatives including the National Residential School Student Death Register, the online National Cemetery Register, and the National Advisory Committee on Missing Children and Unmarked Burials.
The NCTR provides a place of learning and dialogue for ongoing conversations about the implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action. This work includes educational programming and activities, research into millions of records to find the children who did not return from residential schools, collaboration on the establishment of national monuments to memorialize residential schools, and community work, such as the Na-mi-quai-ni-mak (I remember them) Community Support Fund.
“In the future, there will be fewer Survivors. That is why it is important to have a home where we can preserve our truths for future generations.” — Eugene Arcand, residential school Survivor.
“As more residential school records are turned over from the Federal Government and Churches and as we continue the work to bring the missing children home, this funding will help fulfill our vision of a new home to serve Survivors and their families, and work with the many Nations that need their records in their hands.” – Stephanie Scott, Executive Director of the NCTR.
“The NCTR’s work is critical to helping Survivors, their families and communities uncover the truth as they seek closure and healing at their own pace. This funding will support the NCTR in realizing their vision of a new facility to store historical records, Survivors’ statements, and any future documents that are collected regarding the residential school system. Also serving as a learning centre for Canadians, and the world, the NCTR’s new home will ensure that Canada’s shameful colonial past is never forgotten. This is an important step as we work together to advance reconciliation in Canada.” ― Marc Miller, Minister of Crown−Indigenous Relations.
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The NCTR, hosted by the University of Manitoba, was created to preserve the memory of Canada’s Residential School system and legacy, not just for a few years, but forever. It is the responsibility of the NCTR to steward and share the truths of Survivors’ experiences in a respectful way and to work with Indigenous and non-Indigenous educators, researchers, communities, decision-makers and the general public to support the ongoing work of truth, reconciliation and healing across Canada and beyond.