On June 11, 2008, then Prime Minister of Canada, the Right Honourable Stephen Harper, made a Statement of Apology to former students of Indian Residential Schools on behalf of the Government of Canada for the emotional, physical, sexual, spiritual, cultural and mental abuse they experienced while in care at the schools, and as part of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement and Common Experience Payment process.

More than five generations of Indigenous children were often not provided with a proper education, nutrition, and care while in the schools and the detrimental effects on them and their families have severely impeded their ability to develop life skills and/or to thrive as adults or as parents. These deep traumas along with all forms of racism that still exists have significantly contributed to the social and economic conditions of Indigenous Peoples in Canada today, such as poverty, the loss of language, culture, identity, poor mental and physical health factors, disruption of family and community relationships, traditions, etc. Many First Nations chose not to participate and receive the payments, and/or were not included in the process, if their school records could not be found. Students who attended Day Schools were not recognized either. Both Inuit and Metis children also attended Residential Schools, however due to jurisdictional issues many were excluded from the Apology, the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement and the Common Experience Payment process.

This 10th Year Commemorative Exhibit was created to acknowledge the dark chapter in Canada’s history, to remember the Survivors who made it out of the Schools, and to honour those who did not, so that we can learn, change, take action and build respectful relationships between Canadians and Indigenous Peoples moving forward. These relationships must be based on integrity, understanding, empathy, and appreciation for their resilience of Indigenous Peoples and for the many invaluable contributions that formed the foundation of this country we now share. This Exhibit provides all Canadians with a unique opportunity to reflect on what they have learned, what actions they can take and what Reconciliation means for them and what they want for the journey forward.

The Legacy of Hope Foundation is grateful for the generous support of the Government of Canada, specifically the Department of Canadian Heritage and Crown and Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs, in building the commemorative exhibition that marked the 10th year anniversary of Canada’s historic Apology to former Residential School students and their families. The new exhibit is entitled “Remembering, Honouring, and the Way Forward: 10 Years After the Residential School Apology.” The exhibition was developed to be interactive and features a hand-crafted basket that holds messages of peace, hope, and Reconciliation from Canadians across Canada and from people worldwide.

To view the Statement of apology to former students of Indian Residential Schools click here

We invite you to share your message of peace, hope and Reconciliation. Share your story

Your Stories

It is something that matters to all Canadians.

All healing together

Reconciliation is a shared journey with no end date. Awareness only comes about if all voices are repected and listened to.

We must always remember- Remember what happened Remember what was done Remember who we were before Remember who we are now Remember that we must walk this journey together Remember our contributions, our values + remember to love and honour one another.

Both my Grandmothers attended the schools. I'm still learning my language and culture. Miigwetch for the opportunity.

Tears of sorrow Heart full of love Rainbow for hope. I am sorry and promise to walk forward together to build solutions supported and guided by you, the Indigenious people - Karren

Start with our own. Love each other and respect on another and always embrace your truth. <3

Peace, Courage and togetherness on your road forward. - P.skene

I am Here - Thomas

All healing together

To Survivors Keep talking These stories must go worldwide So it will nebver happen again

Carrying Truth forward to the world and to better relations to each and people of color throughout the world for continuing health and happiness

never forget and ensure wrongs of the past are remembered and not repeated

Reconciliation is my personal positive obligation. Every act, every question, every safe space I create is essential. <3

We will be your voice

I hope my family as well as all families can continue a journey of healing and forgiveness.

We have worked with many Surviors over the years. Strength and a willingness to share. Reconciliation requires action and we must move beyond words. We need ACTION not a healing path. - Michael

Today-would've been my mother's 76th birthday- I remember her strength + courage; I remember her times at St Mary IRS (Kenora) Missing You Love You Always Your Eldest Daughter - M

its actually; "reclamation" NOT "reconciliation". we are here to reclaim what was TAKEN from us; our language, culture, children, family values, and LANDS. Reconciliation - the restoration of friendly relations; reunion, reuniting, or fence mending. We have nothing to 'reconcile' with the government as we did not have a relationship with them prior to and during CONTACT, they came in and turned our world upside down. We are going to "reclaim" what is RIGHTFULLY ours. thank you. Nii Jiits K am Ha an (Tsimshian/Nisga'a)

7 generations of Indigenous children went through Residential Schools and were treated terribly, shamed, beaten, abused mentally, physically, sexually, spiritually and culturally and told that they were subhuman and at the same time non-Indigenous children were taught the same things about us. All Canadians, need to recognize and acknowledge the incredible horrors that have been waged against our peoples for hundreds of years; then it must be honoured and empathy and understanding must take place and racism against our Peoples must stop. People need to change how they behave so we can start to heal - it's going to take 7 generations to address the damage that was and continues to be caused. Reconciliation can start with one action at a time and together we can build the country that we claim to have - one that is fair, peaceful, respectful to all.

yes it does; however, from an Indigenous point of view led by Indigenous people. The word is being thrown around these days without an acknowledgement for those who still suffer from immense impacts and adversities. I believe reconciliation starts with truth and truth be told, many Indigenous communities and people are still suffering in many ways such as inadequate living standards that are not up to the par with the rest of society this includes the drinking water crisis, on-going patriarchal relationship with the government of Canada resulting in on-going systemic racism and on-going negative prejudicial attitude towards native people by the rest of mainstream society resulting in on-going racism and stereotypical mindsets. Until these types of issues begin to change or alleviate, reconciliation is not possible.

As a Canadian, I am ashamed that we treated aboriginal children so horrifically, for so long. It's important to acknowledge and understand the past and do what we can to provide hope for a better future for survivors and their families.

It will help me regain some understanding and help heal the past from being in residential school as well as foster care from age 5 on my grandmother was residential school so was my mother so was I and my older brother . It’ll help us overcome years of trauma neglect abuse and help us regain understanding of who we are

Reverence would be better My dad died at 57, a year after Oka Crisis he saw the Cdn military attack a few people over their lands. He said to me before he died: “Baby don’t go back to Peguis don’t waste your life like I did working for our people. The white man has won no body cares about us Indians” His name was Walter George Cochrane I work towards better understanding in his name. He only got to see the worst parts not the children growing up Today knowing who they are and where they came from. The idea of reconciliation gives me hope yet the wheels of bureaucrats continue to spin against us