Ceremony underway to close work of Truth and Reconciliation Commission

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Stephen Harper is among those being thanked at Rideau Hall for helping to facilitate the arduous work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s examination of Canada’s residential school commission.

Harper, taking part in closing ceremonies to mark the end of the commission’s difficult work, was just one of several individuals who were personally thanked by Justice Murray Sinclair, the commission’s chairman.

A summary of the commission’s conclusions and recommendations was released Tuesday amid an emotional blend of tears and joy during an event with residential-school survivors in Ottawa.

It describes the era as one of “cultural genocide,” estimates deaths of more than 6,000 children and makes 94 sweeping recommendations which amount to a complete rebuild of the Crown relationship with Canada’s Aboriginal Peoples.

Outside, children carried paper hearts on gardening stakes for a “heart garden” to be planted on the grounds of Rideau Hall to remember the victims.

It’s been seven years since Harper delivered his historic apology to residential-school survivors from the floor of the House of Commons.

The Canadian Press



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