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September 3, 2013

Truth and Reconciliation Matters to JIBC

Supporting Reconciliation and Healing

“For more than 120 years, thousands of Aboriginal children in British Columbia were sent to Indian Residential Schools funded by the federal government and run by the churches. They were taken from their families and communities in order to be stripped of language, cultural identity and traditions. Canada’s attempt to wipe out Aboriginal cultures failed. But it left an urgent need for reconciliation between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples.

 From Truth and Reconciliation website.


Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC) with approval from its Senior Management Council is committed to acknowledging the significance of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) of Canada and supporting British Columbia’s Reconciliation Week, September 18 - 21, 2013.

In a Statement of Principle, JIBC recognizes the importance and significance of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s national event and associated activities in British Columbia and Vancouver. 

As part of JIBC’s indigenization efforts, reconciliation is seen as a fundamental building block of understanding the Indian Residential School history and decolonization.

A motion passed August 13 encourages JIBC faculty to accommodate, where possible and without risk of academic penalty, any student who wishes to participate in the TRC National event on September 18, 2013.

Faculty members are also encouraged to incorporate materials relevant to the history of residential schools and the reconciliation process into their courses, where possible, during that week. As well, JIBC faculty and staff are encouraged to participate with requests to do so being granted, where possible, consistent with JIBC’s Statement of Principle.

“You can’t have reconciliation unless all Canadians come together through learning that leads to a shift in understanding and intent to create the kind of future for Canada that is egalitarian and inclusive of every citizen,” says Cheryl Matthew, Association Director, JIBC Indigenization, who hails from the Simpcw First Nation near the rural community of Barriere, BC. Matthew’s mother and grandfather attended residential schools.

"This first-ever national event," says JIBC President Dr. Michel Tarko, [who is of Metis heritage from the Cree Nation in Manitoba], “is one more step in a long journey of healing that brings indigenous and non-indigenous Canadians closer to acknowledging the past and transforming their futures. It is imperative that indigenous culture and history are acknowledged within educational institutes through curriculum, through the understanding of cultural differences and the recognition of the effects of personal trauma, and how that has impacted Canada’s First Peoples and manifests in the present.”

A group from JIBC will participate in the Walk for Reconciliation on Sunday, September 22 from Queen Elizabeth Place to Creekside Park beginning at 9 am.

For additional information on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada and to find out how to participate in events or to volunteer during BC Reconciliation week, please visit these links:

Tags: Aboriginal, indigenization, JIBC news

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Last updated October 3, 2014