The Manitoba government is providing $100,000 to the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR) in support of Truth and Reconciliation Week programming, Indigenous Reconciliation and Northern Relations Minister Alan Lagimodiere, Education and Early Childhood Learning Minister Wayne Ewasko and Sport, Culture and Heritage Minister Andrew Smith announced today.

“As our government continues along the path toward reconciliation, through respect, engagement, understanding and action, we are honoured to support commemorative, educational initiatives like Truth and Reconciliation Week, which provide critical opportunities to learn about the history and legacy of residential schools,” said Lagimodiere. “Our government passed legislation in 2017 to recognize Sept. 30 as Orange Shirt Day to encourage reflection and meaningful discussions about the harms of residential schools, and we continue to support programming that fosters these discussions.”

“This five-day educational program supports teachers and students in understanding the histories of Indigenous peoples,” said Ewasko. “With its focus on remembering the children, this event empowers youth to reflect on the past and commit to building mutually respectful relationships.”

The event features a combination of pre-recorded videos, live question-and-answer sessions and an in-person youth empowerment event, each of which will be streamed online allowing students across the country to participate. The event is expected to reach two million students in grades one to 12, noted Ewasko.

“The legacy of residential schools has been brought to the forefront of the national dialogue, following the identification of unmarked graves and this event represents a critical opportunity to amplify Indigenous voices within this dialogue,” said Smith.

Presented by the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, in partnership with local and national organizations, the event includes meet-and-greets with Indigenous authors, filmmakers, musicians, athletes, artists and inspirational speakers. Sept. 30, the final day of the event, will feature a commemorative program broadcast live across the nation in partnership with APTN and multiple broadcasters.

“Manitoba is home to the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, as we work on original lands of Anishinaabeg, Cree, Ojibwe-Cree, Dakota, and Dene peoples, and on the homeland of the Red River Métis,” said Stephanie Scott, executive director, National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation. “We are so pleased to have the support of the province to make it possible for young people across the country to hear the truths directly from Survivors and learn about the role they can play in reconciliation.”

“Young people have an important role to play if we want reconciliation to be possible,” said Eugene Arcand, a residential school Survivor who served on the Survivors Circle at the NCTR. “In the near future there will be fewer Survivors, so this is the time for young people to join Truth and Reconciliation Week to listen to the Survivors who are left and preserve our truths, and ensure that the children who never came home are always remembered.”

The NCTR is the archival repository for all materials collected by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC), hosted by the University of Manitoba. In addition to preserving the legacy of the residential school system, the NCTR focuses on addressing curriculum needs and developing a national education resource plan to improve access to resources, tools and supports for educators.

To learn more visit https://nctr.ca/.

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