Students urged to reflect on legacy of residential schools
As the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) wrapped up its public events in Edmonton last month, a day was set aside to focus on future generations and their role in reconciliation. March 27 was TRC Education Day at the Shaw Conference Centre and REACH Edmonton was a proud in-kind sponsor of the day's events. Students from across the northern half of the province gathered in Edmonton to learn about the legacy of residential schools and consider the future of reconciliation. Through various historical and cultural workshops, students spent the day focusing on Aboriginal history, culture and issues that rarely enter into classroom discussions. "REACH Edmonton was proud and honoured to participate in this historic and important event," said Jan Fox, executive director of REACH Edmonton. "The Education Day portion of the Truth and Reconciliation event was particularly significant as more than 2,300 young people from across the province came together to learn about Canadian Aboriginal history and to celebrate a rich heritage and culture. This event will help shape the future of our country." The Chair of the Commission, Hon. Justice Murray Sinclair, encouraged youth to take time to reflect on what they've learned, and bring the lessons into their daily private conversations "because that is where minds are changed." "As young people - Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal - you are not responsible for the damaging policies and practices of the past, but you do have an opportunity to create a future of renewed relationships based on mutual understanding and respect," Sinclair told students in attendance. "Spend some time afterwards thinking about what you have seen and heard. Decide how you will contribute to a better future for all Canadians, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal. Reconciliation belongs to all of us, but as young people, the future of reconciliation belongs to you."