On this site and at our centre, you will find a vast collection of documents, oral history and other records that detail the systematic and intentional attempt to assimilate the Aboriginal peoples of Canada. Much of the material you will interact with will be difficult but as difficult as this history may be, this is the history of Canada and it is history we all need to know.
But also interwoven throughout these records are incredible accounts of strength and resilience. The records contain rich and dynamic stories from Indigenous cultures that resisted every attempt to eliminate them from the Canadian landscape. You’ll also find moving accounts of meaningful reconciliation and sincere promises by people from all walks of life to make this country a better, more respectful place for all people.
While some of the records will detail humanity at its worst, others demonstrate humanity at its best.
Everything recorded in this collection has a direct effect on the present day relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples in this country. Think about how what you discover here is reflected in the present day. Think about the conversations we need to have in this country to heal the relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples that has existed for far too long.
These are early days for the NCTR and there’s a huge amount of work ahead of us. But our mandate is historic and our vision for our future is clear. With the University of Manitoba as our base and an amazing network of partners, we look forward to great things.
The preservation of this collection is a sacred obligation. We will preserve these records so that at no point in the future can people question what happened at the Residential Schools; so that we all may remember what we are capable of, both good and bad; and so that we never forget the courage, strength and determination of the children that went through the Residential School system.
This is your centre. This is our past and the future is ours to create together.
Have a look through the collection, explore, learn, and feel. And if you’re in town, come by for a visit. The coffee is always on.
Director of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR)