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Secrétariat aux affaires autochtones
Home > Press centre > Press releases > 2015 > June 1, 2015

Ministers Geoffrey Kelley and Stéphanie Vallée Participate in Closing Ceremonies of Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada

Quebec, June 1, 2015 – The Minister responsible for Native Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Kelley, and the Minister of Justice and Minister responsible for the Status of Women, Ms. Stéphanie Vallée, took part in the Closing Ceremonies of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, held from May 31 to June 3, 2015.

“ It is an honour for me to participate in the Closing Ceremonies of this Commission. We have arrived at the last phase of a long process, but the Commission’s work has allowed us to recognize the mistakes of the past so that they will not be repeated. Our First Nations are a resilient group, and together with them, knowing our shared history, we will build bridges, and continue the hard work of healing the wounds,” stated Minister Kelley.

“The development of the residential school system is one of the darkest events in Quebec history and Canadian history, and this is why the Government of Quebec recognizes the importance of this reconciliation effort that has been undertaken by the Commission. The hard work done in the past few years will help us to form strong connections that will move our nations forward and lead us to reconciliation,” declared Minister Vallée.

The Government of Quebec would like to thank the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada for the colossal amount of work that it has done since the beginning of its mandate. Under the auspices of this Commission, many hundreds of witnesses have testified before it – survivors of abuse, their loved ones, and others who have been affected by the residential school experience – in order to shed light on what actually took place.

The work of the Commission has also allowed Quebecers and other Canadians to understand the lasting impact on First Nations of choices made for them in the past. It has dispelled prejudice and brought an end to decades of abuse, replacing these negative outcomes with openness to build a brighter future together.

About the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada

The mandate of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada is to inform Canadians about what First Nations children endured in residential schools. In the past few years, the Commission has heard evidence from survivors, their loved ones, their communities and other people who have been affected by the residential school experience. This last group includes former students (Inuit, Métis and other Native Communities), their loved ones, representatives of various churches, former school staff, government officials, and other Canadians.

The Commission also had the mandate to mobilize First Nations and Canadians, in a healing process designed to guide them toward reconciliation and toward a new relationship that is based on mutual respect and understanding.

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