A Year Later and Harper Refuses to Release Court Ordered Documents to #HonourTheApology! #INM

A year has passed and yet the Harper government still refuses to release the critical court ordered documents so that the truth can be heard about Indian Residential School and its survivors!

Postmedia News has learned that Prime Minister Stephen
Harper’s government, a full year after being ordered by a court to
produce the records to the commission, hasn’t even issued a
request for proposal (RFP) for outside firms to bid on a contract
to sort through the documents at federal archives so they can be
passed along.”

Source: http://o.canada.com/news/national/learning-the-truth-on-aboriginal-residential-schools-hampered-by-slow-work-of-harper-government/

Canada’s obligation under a settlement agreement signed in 2006 with the school survivors, the government, the churches that ran the institutions, and others, is straightforward, Judge Goudge wrote.

“It is to provide all relevant documents to the TRC,” which was created as part of the settlement agreement, he wrote. “The obligation is in unqualified language unlimited by where the documents are located within the government of Canada.”

The department of Aboriginal Affairs has turned over a million records and promises hundreds of thousands more. But 23 other departments have refused to do likewise. It is estimated that millions of school-related documents in the archives could occupy 6.5 kilometres of shelf space, and finding them could cost as much $100-million.

Justice department lawyers said employees of the TRC were welcome to search the archives themselves. But the commission, which is running on a budget of $60-million over five years, says it has neither the money nor the resources to do so.

Justice department lawyers said employees of the TRC were welcome to search the archives themselves. But the commission, which is running on a budget of $60-million over five years, says it has neither the money nor the resources to do so.

Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan said on Wednesday that the government is reviewing Judge Goudge’s ruling.

“The decision is anything but clear cut,” Mr. Duncan told the Commons. “The discussion in terms of relevant documents is left somewhat open by the judge. We believe that we have been meeting the spirit and intent, but if there is a slightly different interpretation, we will obviously meet the spirit and intent of the judge’s decision.”

That suggests the government may be contemplating an appeal.

Julian Falconer, the commission’s lawyer, said any appeal would be “unfortunate” and urged the government not to engage in gamesmanship.

“Canada may well have thought that it was honouring the agreement even though it did not turn over the federal archives. But that state of ignorance is no longer available to them,” Mr. Falconer said in a telephone interview.

“The obligation to turn over the federal archives is unequivocal,” he said. “There is nothing unclear about the judgment. This is about control over history. And Canada has to be willing to relinquish control over the history that is residential schools to the survivors and their families as was contemplated in the agreement.”

Mr. Justice Murray Sinclair, the chairman of the TRC, said in a statement that he welcomed the decision. “We’re grateful to be able to continue the commission’s work of gathering and protecting for future generations documents that are relevant to the history of the Indian residential schools in Canada,” Judge Sinclair said.

Shawn Atleo, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, called the ruling a significant victory. “Reconciliation is about achieving real change that must come from increased and improved understanding of our shared history,” he said. “These documents are essential to the truth-telling and truth-sharing work of the TRC, and all of us.”

About 150,000 aboriginal children attended the schools during the 130 years they were in operation – many of them forced away from their families as part of a campaign to “take the Indian out of the child.”

Prime Minister Stephen Harper apologized in 2008 on behalf of the federal government for the residential-schools experience, but the Assembly of First Nations says the refusal to release the documents could undermine that gesture.

Source: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ottawa-ordered-to-find-and-release-millions-of-indian-residential-school-records/article8001068/

Shawn Atleo urges Harper government to release residential school records – Feb. 12, 2014: http://o.canada.com/news/national/shawn-atleo-urges-harper-government-to-release-residential-school-records/

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In case you missed it, this was the Official Press Release for #HonourTheApology: For Immediate Release July 24 Canadians from many cultural communities call… https://www.facebook.com/niigaan/posts/10100673459149471 and http://honourtheapology.tumblr.com/page/2

Honour The Apology – National Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CANADIANS FROM MANY CULTURAL COMMUNITIES CALL ON FEDS TO #HONOURTHEAPOLOGY TO RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL SURVIVORS

UNITY ACROSS FAITHS AND BACKGROUNDS IN RESPONSE TO RECENTLY REVEALED “NUTRITIONAL EXPERIMENTS” ON INDIGENOUS PEOPLE

WINNIPEG, MB (07/22/2013) – At noon on Thursday, July 25 at venues across the country, Canadians, newcomers, First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples from all walks of life and religious denominations will reflect upon the impacts of Canadaʼs residential schools in a national moment of silence. In response to University of Guelph historian Ian Mosby published research that First Nations communities – and specifically thousands of children in residential schools – were unknowing subjects in biomedical experiments in malnourishment and hunger by federal government officials between 1942-52, these Canadians will pray for and commemorate those who were experimented on. They will also call on the federal government to honour its 2008 apology to the survivors of Residential Schools by immediately releasing all relevant documents to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

“Canadians from many backgrounds have been shocked and hurt by these recent revelations and this is an opportunity to talk, reflect, and do something about it,” says co-organizer Wab Kinew. “Weʼve put out a call for unity and leaders from the Islamic, Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, Multi-denominational, Japanese communities have responded and will join us. We hope many others will come over their lunch hour as well. All are welcome.”

A Spreecast teach-in will be held online on Monday July 22 at 8pm CST for Canadians who want to learn more about the “nutritional experiments” and the documents being sought by the TRC. It will feature Dr. Ian Mosby, Dr. Niigaanwewidam Sinclair and Dr. Leanne Simpson (who wrote a piece about the event in Briarpatch Magazine).

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About the Apology:

On June 11, 2008, the Prime Minister of Canada offered an apology to FirstNations, Métis, and Inuit survivors of the residential school system. Although under a court order, the federal government has been withholding millions of documents from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). These documents contain the movement/disappearance of children, sickness or diseases and the treatment students endured. Honouring the apology means releasing the documents so the TRC can fulfill its mandate and allow all Canadians to learn the truth about this painful era and move together toward reconciliation.

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I collected signatures to petition the Harper Government to release the documents at this Honour the Apology event in Toronto and at the Couchiching Institute Conference on First Nations and Canadian Relationships that happened in the Summer and the petition signatures were sent off to the Harper government yet there still has been no action!

Just like there has been no action by the Harper Government on the investigation for over 800 Missing Murdered Indigenous Women!

Harper doesn’t care about First Nations! 

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