Ministers of Education Acknowledge Landmark Report on Indian Residential Schools

TORONTO, January 29, 2016 — Provincial and territorial ministers of education are pleased to acknowledge the recent release of the final report of Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRCC) on the history of residential schools in Canada.


Over the past few years, ministers have been honoured to meet with each of the TRCC commissioners, the Honourable Justice Murray Sinclair, Dr. Marie Wilson, and Chief Wilton Littlechild, to be apprised of the ground-breaking work of the commission.


“The final TRCC report will serve as an essential resource and guide to support the important and ongoing work of reconciliation across our country and begin the process of healing, so essential if we are to move forward together,” said the Honourable Doug W. Currie, Chair of the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC), and Minister of Education, Early Learning, and Culture for Prince Edward island.


Ministers are pleased to note that the current CMEC Aboriginal Education Plan aligns closely with Recommendation 63 of the TRCC report by supporting the professional development of Aboriginal students interested in pursuing teaching as a career; developing teaching resources that highlight the legacy of Indian Residential Schools for use in Bachelor of Education and teacher-education programs across Canada; promoting understanding about the history and legacy of Indian Residential Schools in K–12 education systems across the country; and sharing promising practices in Aboriginal education.


This work is already under way or planned at the pan-Canadian level and in individual jurisdictions, in collaboration with First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities, according to their unique histories and specific needs.


In particular, ministers wish to underscore their commitment to addressing the painful legacy of residential schools by ensuring that curricula in provincial and territorial school systems allow students to gain an understanding of how residential schools affected Aboriginal children, families, and communities and, ultimately, the country as a whole. Since 2012, a number of jurisdictions have announced initiatives to bring the history of residential schools into the classroom.


“Education can help us shed light on the history and legacy of Indian Residential Schools,” said the Honourable Alfred Moses, co-lead for CMEC's work on Aboriginal education and Minister of Education, Culture and Employment for Northwest Territories. “We are working toward a shared awareness and acknowledgement of what happened to Aboriginal children across Canada, planting us firmly on the path of understanding and reconciliation. Never again should a student be able to say, ‘I never knew'.”



About CMEC

Founded in 1967, CMEC is the collective voice of Canada's ministers of education. It provides leadership in education at the pan-Canadian and international levels and contributes to the exercise of the exclusive jurisdiction of provinces and territories over education. For more information, visit us at



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