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Task force to respond to TRC report

Members of the university community are invited to suggest individuals who might serve on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force. 

Queen’s has struck a task force to address several of the recommendations outlined in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC) final report.

[The Hon. Justice Murray Sinclair discusses the legacy of the Indian Residential School system during a lecutre at Queen's]
The Hon. Justice Murray Sinclair, chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, discusses the legacy of the Indian Residential School system during a lecutre at Queen's in March 2015. (Photo by Suzy Lamont)

“While Queen’s has initiatives in place that reflect aspects of these recommendations, it is our responsibility to ensure that our response is comprehensive and cohesive across the university,” says Alan Harrison, Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic).

Between the middle of the 19th century up until 1996, 150,000 Indigenous children were removed from their homes and separated from their families to attend residential schools. The legacy of the Indian Residential School system was the focus of the truth telling and reconciliation process led by the commission from 2008-2015. The final report, which has been published by McGill-Queen’s University Press, issued several calls to action for post-secondary education institutions in Canada.

Reconciliation through education

The Hon. Justice Murray Sinclair, chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, visited Queen’s in 2015 to deliver the inaugural lecture in the Tom Courchene Distinguished Speakers Series.
Before the lecture, he sat down for a Q&A with the Gazette to talk about the work of the commission and what universities can do to promote and foster reconciliation.

Based on the TRC final report, the Queen’s task force will formulate a set of recommendations regarding the following:

  • The integration of traditional knowledge into existing courses and programs across Queen’s.
  • Strategies, programs and services at Queen’s that support the recruitment, admission, transition, retention and graduation of Aboriginal students.
  • Initiatives that could be undertaken to enhance the cultural climate at Queen’s for Aboriginal students, staff and faculty.

The task force also has the mandate to draft proposals that go beyond the specific calls to action in the TRC final report. To do so, the task force will consider the broader implications of the TRC final report and examine the best practices at other universities in Canada.

The task force will be asked to submit an interim report by June 30, 2016 and a final report by Nov. 30, 2016.

Members of the university community are invited to suggest individuals who might serve on the task force. Nominations may be submitted by March 21 to the Office of the Provost via lacey.monk@queensu.ca