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The turtle sculpture where sacred fires are lit is located in front of the NCTR.

National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation opens today

November 3, 2015 — 

The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR) at the University of Manitoba is holding its grand opening today with more events tomorrow, November 4, 2015.

WATCH: Live webcast of today’s events beginning at 1:30 pm.

NCTR was created to preserve the memory of Canada’s Residential School system and its legacy. The NCTR is the permanent home for all statements, documents, and other materials gathered by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC).

“In taking on this responsibility, the University is upholding its commitment to build respectful relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples,” says David Barnard, President and Vice-Chancellor at the University of Manitoba. “The Centre will provide opportunities for Survivors, families of Survivors, researchers, students, and the public to interact with the oral and documented history of Residential Schools.”

We promise we will be responsible keepers of the stories that have been gathered and the work that has been done. It will be our honour to do so.”

The first day’s events will honour the process of reconciliation and will recognize Survivors and honorary witnesses. The second day, Nov. 4, will focus on education and will feature the unveiling of the Centre’s new online database.

“I encourage our entire university community to participate in the opening ceremonies and engage in the dialogue sessions,” says Barnard. “We need to work together to take the critical next steps coming out of the work of the TRC. Reconciliation is about each Canadian taking positive action and these opening events provide us all with an opportunity to engage and connect.”

The University of Manitoba is honoured to be chosen by the TRC; it joined hands with communities across Canada when it signed the historic agreement on June 21, 2013 – National Aboriginal Day. The University is focused on fostering reconciliation, which is why it was the first university to offer an official apology to Canada’s First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015, event details:

Dignitaries include:

  • The Honourable Justice Murray Sinclair, Chair, Truth and Reconciliation Commission
  • Dr. Marie Wilson, Commissioner, Truth and Reconciliation Commission
  • Phil Fontaine, President of Ishkonigan and former National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations will be recognized for his courage in coming forward as a Survivor of Indian Residential Schools and for his vision in calling for a national inquiry.
  • Residential School Survivors
  • Honorary Witnesses of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
  • Senior leaders of Parties to the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement.
  • Dr. David T. Barnard, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Manitoba
  • Dr. Cindy Blackstock, Executive Director, First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada; Associate Professor, University of Alberta; Founder, First Nations Children’s Action Research Education Service
  • Wab Kinew, Associate Vice-President of Indigenous Affairs, University of Winnipeg
  • Nathan Obed, President, Inuit Tapirit Kanatami
  • Regional Chief Kevin Hart, Assembly of First Nations
  • The Honourable James Allum, Minister of Education and Advanced Learning

 When and Where:

  • 12:30 p.m.: Lighting of sacred fire, National Research Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, Chancellor’s Hall, 177 Dysart Road, University of Manitoba
  • 1 – 1:15 p.m.: Procession to University Centre
  • 1:30 p.m.: Welcome remarks and Official Opening Ceremonies, Manitoba Room (Rm 224) of University Centre
  • 2 -4:30 p.m. Reconciliation Dialogue – “The Path Forward”, Manitoba Room (Rm 224) of University Centre

Wednesday, November 4, 2015 event details:

What: Official launch of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation Archive
When: 1:50 p.m.
Where: Hall A, Winnipeg Convention Centre
Over 1,700 students and 350 teachers from across Manitoba are gathering at the Convention Centre to take part in workshops as part of this day.



Research at the University of Manitoba is partially supported by funding from the Government of Canada Research Support Fund.

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