The final report on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was released yesterday in Ottawa.
In attendance was Chief Terri Brown of the Tahltan Band Council.
Brown was also a survivor committee member, and calls the experience both difficult and freeing.
She says part of the relief is knowing that the horrors of the residential schools are now common knowledge throughout Canada, and is no longer a “dark secret.”
To go from report to action, Brown says her people must succeed in continuing their traditional ways, where the residential schools failed in destroying them.
But the legacy of forced assimilation continues to have an impact, for example, the Tahltan language currently has less than 20 fluent speakers.
Brown adds that she hopes the youth in her community can have the same opportunities as others in the country.
But she cites funding as the biggest barrier to enacting community programs.
She is hopeful that the Trudeau government’s call for a renewed relationship with First Nations, will mean stable funding will be made available.