Indigenous

Truth and Reconciliation report prompts calls for action

Political leaders react to the final report of the years-long Truth and Reconciliation Commission on Canada's residential school system.

'Apology compels action' AFN national chief says of years-long look into residential school system

Former national chief of the Assembly of First Nations Phil Fontaine spent time at a residential school before launching his political career. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission on Tuesday urged political leaders to mend fences between aboriginal communities and the rest of Canada after hearing from survivors of residential schools.

The six years of hearings and interviews culminated with the release of the commission's report, which includes 94 recommendations aimed at repairing relationships across the country.

In 2008, Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued a formal apology to former students of the residential school system. However, many leaders said Tuesday that action must now follow that apology for the country to move past a dark part of Canadian history .

Here are some reactions following the release of the commission's report:

Bernard Valcourt, minister of aboriginal affairs: "Reconciliation is not to forgive and forget, but to remember and change."

Perry Bellegarde, Assembly of First Nations national chief: "Action on reconciliation will honour the former students of residential schools and their families … apology compels action, otherwise it will be empty and meaningless."

Phil Fontaine, former Assembly of First Nations national chief: "The story of how we came here today is a long and painful one but this day will help us to put that pain behind us."

Justin Trudeau, Liberal party leader: "The truth of what occurred has been established. Now we must all commit to the important work of reconciliation going forward."

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