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Assembly of First Nations Welcomes Ontario Superior Court Decision to Disclose Documents to Truth and Reconciliation Commission

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  • Don Bain
    From: Tash Cote [mailto:TCote@afn.ca] Sent: January-31-13 8:02 AM Subject: Assembly of First Nations Welcomes Ontario Superior Court Decision to Disclose
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 31, 2013
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      From: Tash Cote [mailto:TCote@...]
      Sent: January-31-13 8:02 AM
      Subject: Assembly of First Nations Welcomes Ontario Superior Court Decision to Disclose Documents to Truth and Reconciliation Commission

      January 30, 2013



      Assembly of First Nations Welcomes Ontario Superior Court Decision to Disclose Documents to Truth and Reconciliation Commission

      (Ottawa, ON) � Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo said today welcomes this morning�s Ontario Superior Court decision requiring the federal government to disclose and provide all documents related to the Indian Residential Schools era to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission consistent with the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement (Settlement Agreement).

      �Today�s decision by the Ontario Superior Court underscores the importance of the truth-telling and truth-sharing mandate of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), in assisting with the individual healing of former students, their families and our communities, and helps advance the steps required toward reconciliation for First Nations and all Canadians,� said AFN National Chief Shawn Atleo, adding that AFN continues advocacy efforts to ensure the key principles of healing and reconciliation are the cornerstones of implementation of the Indian Residential Settlement Agreement.

      �As a central party to the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, the Assembly of First Nations urges the Government of Canada to fulfil its obligation under the Settlement Agreement and expeditiously share documentation with the TRC in an organized manner,� said National Chief Atleo.

      Earlier today Justice Stephen Goudge released the decision clarifying the Government of Canada�s basic obligation regarding document in its possession or control, specifically its requirement to provide all relevant documents to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, including those located in Library and Archives of Canada. The Court noted that this obligation is in unqualified language, unlimited by where the documents are located within the Government of Canada.

      �This decision is a significant victory, and we will continue to stand in support of former students of the Indian Residential Schools and First Nations as the historical record of the Indian Residential School system will now be more complete and available to future generations,� said National Chief Atleo. �Reconciliation is about achieving real change that must come from increased and improved understanding of our shared history. These documents are essential to the truth-telling and truth-sharing work of the TRC, and all of us.�

      Under the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, the TRC was tasked with creating a complete historical record, as possible, of the residential schools system and legacy. The historical record is to be preserved and made accessible to the public for future study and use. The Government of Canada and the churches are to provide all relevant documents in their possession or control to and for the use of the TRC, subject to a few exceptions. During court proceedings, the Government of Canada argued its obligation was limited to providing the TRC with access to the federal archives and to search its files and deliver relevant active and semi-active documents to the TRC, where those files have not yet been archived at Library and Archives Canada.


      The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing First Nations citizens in Canada. Follow us on Twitter @AFN_Updates, @AFN_Comms

      -30-

      For more information please contact:

      Jenna Young AFN Communications Officer 613-241-6789, ext 401; 613-314-8157 or jyoung@...<mailto:jyoung@...>

      Alain Garon AFN Bilingual Communications Officer 613-241-6789, ext 382; 613-292-0857 or agaron@...<mailto:agaron@...>



      Le 30 janvier 2013



      L�Assembl�e des Premi�res Nations salue la d�cision de la Cour sup�rieure de justice de l�Ontario de divulguer des documents � la Commission de v�rit� et de r�conciliation

      (Ottawa, ON) � Le Chef national de l�Assembl�e des Premi�res Nations, Shawn A-in-chut Atleo, a d�clar� aujourd�hui qu�il se r�jouissait de la d�cision prise ce matin par la Cour sup�rieure de justice de l�Ontario. Elle demande au gouvernement f�d�ral de divulguer et de fournir tous les documents portant sur l��poque des pensionnats indiens � la Commission de v�rit� et de r�conciliation, conform�ment � la Convention de r�glement relative aux pensionnats indiens (la Convention de r�glement).

      � La d�cision prise aujourd�hui par la Cour sup�rieure de justice de l�Ontario souligne l�importance du mandat de la Commission de v�rit� et de r�conciliation (CVR) consistant � dire la v�rit� et � la partager, � contribuer � la gu�rison individuelle des anciens �l�ves, de leurs familles et de nos communaut�s, et � faire progresser les �tapes n�cessaires � la r�conciliation pour les Premi�res Nations et tous les Canadiens �, a soulign� Shawn Atleo, le Chef national de l�Assembl�e des Premi�res Nations. Ce dernier a ajout� que l�APN poursuivait les actions de sensibilisation afin de veiller � ce que les principes fondamentaux de la gu�rison et de la r�conciliation soient les piliers de la mise en �uvre de la Convention de r�glement.

      � � titre de partie essentielle � la Convention de r�glement relative aux pensionnats indiens, l�Assembl�e des Premi�res Nations prie instamment le gouvernement du Canada de remplir ses obligations pr�vues par la Convention de r�glement et de transmettre de fa�on organis�e et sans d�lai la documentation � la CVR �, a indiqu� le Chef national Atleo.

      Plus t�t aujourd�hui, le juge Stephen Goudge a publi� la d�cision qui clarifie la principale obligation du gouvernement du Canada concernant les documents se trouvant en sa possession ou sous son contr�le, particuli�rement son obligation de fournir tous les documents pertinents pour la CVR, y compris ceux conserv�s � Biblioth�que et Archives Canada. La Cour a fait remarquer que cette obligation avait �t� formul�e dans des termes peu pr�cis, et qu�elle n�avait pas �t� limit�e � l�endroit ou se trouvent les documents au sein du gouvernement du Canada.

      � Cette d�cision constitue une victoire importante, et nous continuerons � donner notre appui aux anciens �l�ves des pensionnats indiens et des Premi�res Nations alors que les archives sur le syst�me des pensionnats indiens seront d�sormais plus compl�tes et accessibles pour les g�n�rations � venir �, a d�clar� le Chef national Atleo. � La r�conciliation consiste � parvenir � de v�ritables changements que nous pourrons obtenir en am�liorant davantage la compr�hension de notre histoire commune. Ces documents sont essentiels au mandat de la CVR consistant � dire la v�rit� et � la partager, mais aussi pour nous tous. �

      Conform�ment � la Convention de r�glement relative aux pensionnats indiens, la CVR a re�u comme mandat de cr�er des archives historiques compl�tes, si possible, du syst�me des pensionnats indiens et de son lourd h�ritage. Ces archives doivent �tre conserv�es et accessibles au public � des fins d��tudes et de recherche. Le gouvernement du Canada et les organismes religieux fourniront tous les documents pertinents en leur possession ou sous leur contr�le � la CVR, sous r�serve de quelques exceptions. Durant la proc�dure judiciaire, le gouvernement du Canada a pr�tendu que son obligation se limitait � fournir � la Commission un acc�s aux archives du gouvernement f�d�ral et � faire des recherches dans ses dossiers, puis � lui fournir les documents actifs et semi-actifs pertinents, si ceux-ci n�avaient pas d�j� �t� archiv�s � Biblioth�que et Archives Canada.


      L�Assembl�e des Premi�res Nations est l�organisme national qui repr�sente les citoyens des Premi�res Nations au Canada. Suivez l�APN sur Twitter � @AFN_Updates et @AFN_Comms.

      -30-

      Renseignements :

      Jenna Young, agente de communications, Assembl�e des Premi�res Nations, 613-241-6789, poste 401, 613-314-8157 ou jyoung@...<mailto:jyoung@...>

      Alain Garon, agent de communications bilingue, APN, 613-241-6789, poste 382, 613-292-0857 ou agaron@...<mailto:agaron@...>



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