Justice Murray Sinclair delivers Knight Lecture to standing-room only crowd
More than 7,000 interviews and statements have been documented in four years as part of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and will be delivered in the form of a report in June 2015. Overseeing this is the Honourable Justice Murray Sinclair, Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, who presented this year’s Knight Lecture with a talk titled, “If you thought the Truth was hard, Reconciliation will be harder.”
Speaking to over 300 people, in a standing-room only crowd, Justice Sinclair said a change in attitudes and recognition of the past are necessary to begin healing seven generations of Indigenous peoples who suffered under the residential schools. The key to this change said Justice Sinclair lies in education, a more balanced approach to the teaching of Canadian history and about aboriginal people.
The Honourable Justice Murray Sinclair was born and raised in the Selkirk area north of Winnipeg. He graduated from his high school as class valedictorian and athlete of the year in 1968. After serving as Special Assistant to the Attorney General of Manitoba, Justice Sinclair attended the Universities of Winnipeg and Manitoba and, in 1979 became an alumnus of the University of Manitoba, graduating from the Faculty of Law. Only eight years after starting his legal practice, Justice Sinclair was appointed Associate Chief Judge of the Provincial Court of Manitoba in March of 1988, then to the Court of Queen’s Bench of Manitoba in January 2001. He was Manitoba’s first Aboriginal Judge. In 2002, Justice Sinclair was also named a University of Manitoba Honorary Degree Recipient.
I am very sadden by what was discovered by the inquiry on the TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION. As a nun myself, of the same community of some Sisters who taught in the residential schools, I can only hope my sisters did not abuse the students verbally, physically and sexually.
However I feel to be able to bring about reconciliation, I wish the report could have given a positive outlook of the education that many good and kind people gave to the children. There were good and kind lay teachers, priests and sisters. Everything was not bad.
Another point I would have liked to see mentioned is the role of the government of England which demanded the assimilation of the indigenous people. The leaders of these schools were not free to educate: they had to answer to the demands of the government.
It disappoints me to see the one sided, negative aspect of this report. Usually a report has 2 sides to it; THE POSITIVE AND THE NEGATIVE, THE GOOD AND THE BAD.. Please give the positive side of the residential schools. Many children have become educated citizens, who are rendering an enormous service to society.