On June 22, the Jesuit community in partnership with the University of St. Michael’s College hosted a special conference to honour the survivors of Residential Schools and to foster a discussion with the community on the calls to action arising out of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Attending this special event on behalf of OCSTA was association president, Patrick Daly, and senior staff members Nick Milanetti, Brian O’Sullivan and Sharon McMillan.
Among the many poignant presentations delivered throughout the day was the opening address by Knowledge Keeper Noel Starblanket – a Residential Schools Survivor. As he discussed the harsh realities of the harm he and other young children endured in Residential Schools, he urged the wider community to focus on accountability and action, not guilt. This was the tone set for a day of collaborative discussions that not only highlighted terrible injustices but also surfaced new hope and ideas, especially among the young people and students who were in attendance.
Another key highlight from the day was the “conversation” on Aboriginal issues had between former Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Paul Martin and conference host John Moore of Newstalk 1010 radio. Mr. Martin is well recognized for his advocacy on indigenous rights and offered compelling insight into his experience working to address these challenges as part of the government and ideas he advocates for now to arrive at more workable solutions for improved education outcomes and entrepreneurial opportunities for Aboriginal Canadians.
The following information was shared by the Jesuit community with delegates to this conference and you are invited to learn more by clicking on these links: