TR Gathering Purpose, Objectives and Aims.

The Truth and Reconciliation Gathering Conference is an annual event hosted by the University College of the North (UCN). Since the initial release of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report in 2015, Canadian government, educational institutions, community organizations and Canadian have a responsibility in repairing the harms caused by residential school.

The 6th annual conference theme is “Honouring the Children” which came about with the recent findings of unmarked graves at the site of former residential schools across Canada. Many people reacted with astonishment when the unmarked graves of 215 children were located at the Kamloops Residential School site. This discovery has resulted in a countrywide discussion of residential schools – some discussions are sympathetic and question how the government of Canada could hide such a thing, while others discussions still deny the brutal realties of the institutions.

The conference objectives aims to honour the unmarked graves and seek to promote ongoing conversation about the IRS system and its legacy. Even though the conference’s main purpose is to be in accordance with UCN’s mission and vision statement and adhere to UCN’s 2020-2025 Academic and Research Plan, Reconciliation plan, (2020 gatherings objectives) the conference objectives will go further by;

- ensuring the conversation of residential schools continues to unfold hidden truths that impact Aboriginal communities and peoples.

- creating an awareness of social impacts that are a direct result of colonization with an emphasis on residential schools.

- focusing on the impacts that residential schools, with particular emphasis of the unmarked graves, had and continues to have on Aboriginal peoples and communities.

The conference aims to:

- provide resources that speak to teaching and learning about the historical and contemporary impacts of residential schools.

- support peoples and communities in the healing process from the trauma brought by the residential school era and the recent findings of the unmarked graves.

- include youth voices to the conversation that will contribute to moving toward reconciliation.