CBC North - Photo By Lena Autut

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Anglican bishop on importance of TRC

At the Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings held in Val d'Or, several of the survivors thanked members of the clergy for their presence in the audience.

Both the Catholic and Anglican bishops, as well as a priest came to listen to the testimony on February 5th and 6th.

Reverend Tom Corston is the Anglican bishop for Moosonee -- the diocese that includes Eeyou Istchee. He says it was important for him to be there.

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Tom Corston says that although he thought he knew about the history of residential schools, he was still surprised and saddened by much of what he heard.

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After the TRC hearings in Maliotenam, some complained that representatives of the government and the church did not participate.

Corston says he was already planning to come to Val d'Or.

He says some former students want his support before or after testifying and for him, his role is to listen.

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In her opening remarks, Commissioner Marie Wilson explained that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's mandate will come to an end next spring (2014).

However, she said the Commission's role in educating the Canadian public about residential schools must go on beyond that date.

Reverend Tom Corston says he took that message to heart.

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Reverend Corston is also planning to attend the TRC event in Chisasibi on March 19 and 20.