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OUR COMMITMENT

On June 1st 2015, one day before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada released its findings and 94 Calls to Action, the Advocate's Office formally adopted a Statement of Reconciliation to affirm its commitment to play an active role in the process of reconciliation.

Having worked with the Commission, Youth Amplifiers from the Office’s Feathers of Hope initiative and staff had the honour of placing this statement and Feathers of Hope: A First Nations Youth Action Plan inside the Bentwood Box, which reflects the strength and resilience of residential school survivors and their descendants, and honours those survivors who are no longer living.Feather's of Hope report being placed in Bentwood Box

This Statement of Reconciliation acknowledges and publicly asserts our commitment to reconciliation and serves as a guide for the Advocate’s Office. It is presented here with great respect and is framed on the walls of our Toronto and Thunder Bay Office locations.
 

STATEMENT OF RECONCILIATION

Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth

On the eve of the release of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s final report, the realities of truth and reconciliation now take on their hardest journey, the journey from the hands of Justice Sinclair and the Commission into the heart and soul of the consciousness of this country.

The history and legacy of the Indian Residential Schools lives on in the survivors and descendants of more than 150,000 children who attended one of the more than 100 residential schools that were funded by the federal government and run largely by Canada’s churches. It is carried in the collective memory of current and future generations of First Nations, Aboriginal, Inuit and Métis children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. We must come together as a country to create a path of healing and this work must be anchored in the possibilities of this country’s children and youth to be a powerful voice in the vision and work tied to remembering and reconciliation now and for the next seven generations.

In Ontario, we must come together and critically examine how our systems fuel assimilation. We must create new spaces where truth telling and the process of reconciliation can be mobilized.

Reconciliation lives in the space of the past and present but truly, it is tied to a future that remembers not only the survival of children and youth who were sent to the Indian Residential Schools but actively demonstrates to current and future generations of Aboriginal, Inuit, Métis children that we will never again allow children to be stolen from their families, communities and nations and be robbed of their culture, language and spiritual connections.

As Ontario’s Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth, we offer this statement of commitment to actively embrace our role as a leader in the process of truth telling and work with and for all Aboriginal, Métis, Inuit children and youth in Ontario.

This Office will continually strive to ensure this province actively engages in a process of healing that is tied to the vision of reconciliation advanced by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. This vision is reflective of the lived experience of the survivors of the Indian Residential Schools and is committed and focused on ensuring that the legacies of that survival are addressed and wherever possible are replaced with hope, possibility and healing in current generations of nations of children and youth who call Turtle Island home.

Link to PDF of Official Ontario TRC Statement