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Thomas Moore, Regina Indian Industrial School, c. 1874 (courtesy of Library and Archives Canada/NL-022474).Justice Murray Sinclair greets the audience at the release of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Final Report, in Ottawa, Ontario, on December 15, 2015 (courtesy of The Canadian Press / Adrian Wyld).Read the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement article at The Canadian Encyclopedia. What were the main outcomes of the Agreement? Summarize the five components that were agreed on.How are you involved in the reconciliation journey? Have you participated in any activities that have commemorated residential school students and their families? Have you engaged in projects or events that have honoured Indigenous cultures? (Think about the fact that right now you are learning about Indian residential schools.)How is your increased understanding of this part of Canada’s history important to you and to the reconciliation journey?What can you do to help make reconciliation a reality? One place to look for suggestions is the TRC website.220.127.116.11.In pairs or small groups, think about the following questions. 1110
Think about the following questions: Who are the main historical figures to be included? Which events will be featured? Why are these people and places significant to the story you are telling?Will you choose one specific school to examine, or one specific story? Or will you address the legacy of residential schools as a larger topic?Who would you consult in the creation of this exhibit (e.g., academics, Survivors, community members, teachers, etc.)? Which voices and perspectives would you include in your exhibit? How would you include them?Ethical Dimensions:Creating a Museum ExhibitTeacher TipIf possible, plan a class trip to a local museum to explore how Indigenous histories and cultures are depicted. You can also visit wherearethechildren.ca to see an example of how to present this sensitive subject matter.You may want to consider alternative ways students can present their research. Examples include a Prezi or PowerPoint presentation, a WordPress site, an online Flipbook, a Word document, or even a bristol board presentation.One of the recommendations in the TRC Final Report calls on governments to install public monuments “to honour Survivors and all the children who were lost to their families and communities.” In 2012, a stained glass window was placed in a prominent window in the Centre Block of Canada’s Parliament Buildings. The work of art, by Métis artist Christi Belcourt, is called “Giniigaaniimenaaning (Looking Ahead).” It commemorates the legacy of students of the Indian residential schools, and also Canada’s apology in 2008. How should we remember the injustices of the past? As we study residential schools, we must consider the ethics of how we remember the past and its legacy in the present. How can we present history from an unbiased perspective? Can we show different perspectives without stigmatizing? What do we owe to the people of the past? How should we respond to past wrongs?