Commissioner Marie Wilson of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) will discuss the devastating legacy of Indian Residential Schools in Quebec and throughout the country when she delivers the third Annual Jeanne Sauvé Address this afternoon at l’Ermitage, Collège de Montréal. The Address takes place at 5:30 p.m.
Twelve federally funded, church-run residential schools operated in Quebec as part of a national program of forced assimilation of Aboriginal children through the elimination of parental and community involvement in their intellectual, cultural and spiritual development. This program to deliberately “kill the Indian in the child” has been called “the single most harmful, disgraceful and racist act in our history.”
Commissioner Wilson is an award-winning journalist, trainer and senior executive manager. Appointed in 2009 to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, she is an outspoken advocate for the acknowledgment of the injustices and harm experienced by Aboriginal people as a result of the Residential Schools and for recognition of the need for continued healing. In her Jeanne Sauvé Address, she will highlight the role of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada in seeking out the truth, supporting reconciliation, and fostering healing and a brighter future.
The TRC will hold hearings in several Quebec communities during the early months of 2013, including a National Event in Montreal from April 24 to 28. The hearings will provide an opportunity for former students and their descendants to describe the effects the schools have had on their lives, and for the public to learn about and bear witness to the schools’ ongoing legacy.
The Jeanne Sauvé Annual Address celebrates the vision and values of the late Right Honourable Jeanne Sauvé, whose career, one representing many firsts –the first woman MP elected from Quebec to become a federal cabinet minister, the first woman to serve as Speaker of the House and as Governor General of Canada – is an enduring inspiration to today’s young leaders.
The Annual Jeanne Sauvé Address is the premier public event of the Jeanne Sauvé Foundation, whose mission is to help the next generation of leaders, in the words of the late Governor General,”address global issues, exchange opinions and ideas, gain insight, expand understanding and perspectives, and create a network of leaders.”
The Address will be followed by a panel discussion among Sauvé Scholars, who will relate Commissioner Wilson’s talk to experiences in their home countries of Iran, Kashmir (India), Rwanda and Canada, and who will reflect on the role of public education in building understanding across differences.
Previously, the Jeanne Sauvé Address has been delivered by Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, and Canadian journalist and humanitarian Sally Armstrong.
Today’s event is open to the media:
Date: Thursday, November 29, 2012
Time: 5:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Place: Salle Ermitage, Collège de Montréal, 3510 chemin de la Côte-des-Neiges
Prior to the Address, Commissioner Marie Wilson will be available from 12.00 – 3.00 pm for media interviews at Maison Jeanne Sauvé, 1514 Docteur Penfield, Montreal.
Contact for media arrangements:
Simone Hanchet, Communications and Program Director
Jeanne Sauvé Foundation and Sauvé Scholars Program
Mobile: (514) 994-6929