Northern Hearings

Nunavut

The Truth and Reconciliation resumed the Northern Hearings on March 21st in Rankin Inlet.  After Rankin Inlet, over the course of the week the Commission travelled to the communities of Chesterfield, Igloolik/Iglulik and Iqaluit receiving statements from Survivors and community members who have been impacted by the Residential School legacy.

Among those who came forward to share their experiences in Igloolik/Iglulik were the parents of former student: "They told us about what it was like as parents, who had never been to Residential Schools to send their children to the schools and the impact of having their lives altered by the fact their children were gone.  That was a unique perspective," said Commission Chair, Justice Murray Sinclair.

Among communities impacted by the Residential School system Igloolik/Iglulik is unique in at least two regards.  First, the system was not introduced to the community until the 1950s, much later than other Aboriginal communities and secondly, Igloolik/Iglulik has a high number of Residential School Survivors, this was apparent by the number of people who attended the hearings.  The Commission received nearly 50 public statements and the venue was filled to capacity on both days of the hearings. 

The Hearings were filled with intense emotion however the community expressed enthusiasm and appreciation for the opportunity to discuss the experiences of Residential School as well as the on-going issues associated with the experience.