Residential school survivors can proactively preserve documents: Bennett
Move comes after Supreme Court ruled earlier this month records detailing abuse can be destroyed
OTTAWA — Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett says there is a proactive effort underway to tell residential school survivors that their records can still be preserved if they so choose.
The move comes after the Supreme Court of Canada ruled earlier this month that records detailing the abuse of former students can eventually be destroyed.
The court unanimously upheld a lower court ruling that said the sensitive material collected for independent assessments should be destroyed after 15 years.
The federal government and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission argued survivor accounts are a critical part of Canadian history that should be preserved.
Bennett, who expressed her disappointment following the court's decision, tells The Canadian Press she fears researchers will not be able to explore central questions about the residential school legacy if the documents are in fact destroyed.
She says it will be important to give assurances to survivors that their names will remain anonymous.