By Melanie Hodges Neufeld
Saturday, June 21 is the 18th annual National Aboriginal Day and celebrations will be held throughout Saskatchewan. This day honours the heritage, contributions and culture of the First Nation, Inuit and Métis peoples in Canada. In Saskatoon the celebrations begin at 11:00 am in the Bessborough Gardens and in Regina at 9:00 am in the NW corner of Wascana Centre.
This is perhaps also a time to reflect on the heart-breaking history and legacy of Canada’s Indian residential schools. At the Canadian Association of Law Libraries annual conference last month, the Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Justice Murray Sinclair, gave an emotional and riveting talk about the Commission’s work to date and why the Commission has concluded that this is not an Aboriginal problem but a Canadian one. Over the last four years, the Commission visited more than 300 communities and collected accounts of former students. It would take more than two years to play back the more than 6,500 statements survivors gave the commission.* Please visit the Truth and Reconciliation website for more information and resources.
* CBC News, “Truth and Reconciliation: Nearly 4 Years of Hearings Wrap”