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Still Surviving: Stories of Reconciliation


Photo by Meghan Mast.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which gathered witness testimonies from 7,000 residential school survivors and their families beginning in 2009, wrapped up May 31 to June 3, 2015. The commission, funded by survivor's compensation money, aims to address the suffering of survivors but also educate the Canadian public about residential schools.

As the commission travelled across Canada, stories of abuse and neglect in the schools leaked into the public consciousness. Participants shared their experiences -- some privately, and others publicly and on the record at the new National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation in Winnipeg.

But the commission does not necessarily represent the beginning of healing for those involved. It took the federal government over 100 years to close the schools, apologize and acknowledge the devastating effects on aboriginal communities. Meanwhile, many survivors began their own healing long ago -- slowly rebuilding their worlds, reclaiming their every day existence through small acts of hope and resistance.

In This Series


Gina Laing

Still Surviving: Reconciliation Through Everyday Rebellion

Residential school survivors rebuild through small acts of hope and resistance. First of two.

By Meghan Mast, 2 Jun 2015



Still Surviving: 'It's Always on the Edge of Things'

For residential school survivors, quiet power in daily tasks. Last of two.

By Meghan Mast, 3 Jun 2015