Every Child Matters

Letter Writing and Phone Zap

OPIRG Peterborough June 2021

Introduction: The TRC Calls to Action and Accountability

Indian residential and day schools were created by the settler colonial Canadian government and the churches to assimilate Indigenous children and ultimately eradicate Indigenous peoples, communities, and cultures. The children who attended the “schools” experienced unfathomable extents of abuse and mistreatment which produced generations of Indigenous peoples who still suffer from the trauma and violence that came from them. Unfortunately, many children who attended these “schools” never even made it home.

Since the first residential school, which opened in 1831, there has been resistance from Indigenous peoples and ongoing calls for the government and churches to end this genocide. Government officials like John A. Macdonald introduced various forms of violence to use against Indigenous peoples through residential and day schools. The current Canadian government is perpetuating the abuse, violence, and mistreatment of Indigenous peoples and they need to be held accountable.

The Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, which was highly critical of the treatment within residential schools, influenced the first public apology from the government in 1998, 167 years after the first residential school opened. This took far too long and an apology is merely a start.

In 2015, the government of so-called Canada released the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. In the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, there are a total of 94 Calls to Action to improve the relationships of colonizers with Indigenous peoples.

We must demand accountability from the government to work towards fulfilling these Calls to Action.

We encourage you to familiarize yourself with the many documents listed on the TRC website, including all 94 Calls to Action and the stories of the survivors.

In this letter template, we will be focusing on the section of the Calls to Action, Towards Reconciliation, Missing Children and Burial Information (71-76):

71) We call upon all chief coroners and provincial vital statistics agencies that have not provided to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada their records on the deaths of Aboriginal children in the care of residential school authorities to make these documents available to the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation.

OPIRG Peterborough