Manitoba

Justice Murray Sinclair reflects on TRC report, recommendations

Justice Murray Sinclair reflects on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, as the closing ceremonies start Wednesday in Ottawa.

'There's a sense of relief about finally being able to talk about the report publicly'

"I think we're looking forward to a bit of a break but we know that talking about the report before it gets off everybody's minds is very important," Sinclair said. (Chad Hipolito/Canadian Press)

After six years of touring the country, collecting testimonies from coast to coast to coast, Justice Murray Sinclair reflects on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, as the closing ceremonies start Wednesday in Ottawa.

Sinclair, chair of the commission, released the final report and 94 recommendations Tuesday calling for all kinds of changes to be made across the country. 

"I think we're looking forward to a bit of a break but we know that talking about the report before it gets off everybody's minds is very important," Sinclair told CBC's Information Radio.

There is an overwhelming feeling of exhaustion amongst the commission leaders, Sinclair said. Support from friends and family has been important for them this week. 

"There's a sense of relief about finally being able to talk about the report publicly, as well as a sense of achievement based upon the reaction to it at this point. But at the same time, we know there's also a sense of the tremendous amount of the work that remains yet to be done," Sinclair said Wednesday. 

Prime Minister Stephen Harper met with Sinclair Tuesday, following the release of the report and recommendations. Sinclair said he expressed that the commission has accepted the prime minister's 2008 apology as sincere regarding Canada's use of residential schools

"We also did indicate that we know that there are going to be some difficulties on the part of this government to accept some of the recommendations but we would be prepared to work with them to understand what we said and why we said it, and to look at how we can make them work in the best way possible," Sinclair said Wednesday. 

The recommendations were written for all of Canada, not just the federal government Sinclair said. The country needs to see every jurisdiction trying to lead the way toward action on the report. 

Sinclair points to education as the perfect starting point for changes to be made at a provincial level.

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