Queen's University

Auditor General's report & Truth and Reconciliation Commission: Queen's University expert

2013-11-12

Queen’s University professor Sam McKegney is available to talk about tensions within the federal government mandated Indian Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Federal Auditor General Michael Ferguson released his report today and said attempts to deal with the fallout of the residential school system are in a trouble as the federal government can’t come to an agreement with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) over what historical documents need to be provided.

“It all comes back to which ‘truths’ the government is interested in having aired and the strategies of containment that have been at play throughout the Truth and Reconciliation Commission process,” says Dr. McKegney. “One of the three pillars of the TRC mandate is to create 'as complete an historical record as possible' about the residential school system and its legacy. The TRC Commissioners have argued that to accomplish this they need access to all government documents related to residential schools. The federal government has sought to limit their access to documents already tabled in survivor court cases. This strategy of containment keeps focus on the pain of survivor testimonies and away from political policies and decision making. The more access to information the Canadian public, the TRC, and Indigenous nations have, the more we will see the colonial policies of the federal government extending beyond the history of residential schools.”

Dr. McKegney has researched residential schools and their legacy, and has attended three national Truth and Reconciliation Commission events, including the most recent event last week in Montreal. He is also an author of Magic Weapons – Aboriginal Writers Remaking Community After Residential School.

Please note Dr. McKegney is available for phone interviews only.

To arrange an interview, please contact communication officers Michael Onesi at 613.533.6000 ext. 77513 or michael.onesi@queensu.ca or Anne Craig at 613-533-2877 or Anne.Craig@queensu.ca at Queen’s University News and Media Services Department in Kingston, Ont., Canada.

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