Mary Annette Pember via YouTube
Thousands thronged through the streets of Ottawa on May 30, 2015, to honor residential school students both living and passed on.

Personal Witness: 5 Haunting Videos From Truth and Reconciliation Closing Events


The reports are out, the reactions have sprung forth. And now, some say, the real work of healing begins.

From May 31 through June 3, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada held its closing events, the culmination of a six-year investigation into what transpired during the 150-year residential schools era, which did not end until the last school closed in 1996. It’s clear that what the schools wrought in terms of emotional damage has carried on down through the generations, especially among the 80,000 direct survivors and their families.

Indian Country Today Media Network contributor Mary Annette Pember was in Ottawa, supplying video ranging from wrenching personal accounts of boarding school, to jubilant scenes of celebration and healing, to the validation that Indigenous Peoples in Canada have long awaited: It was cultural genocide.

Below are five videos that were interspersed throughout our coverage, but are worth highlighting, given that, in the words of one participant below, “it is the movement that will not end.”

‘Cultural Genocide’: Justice Murray Sinclair Speaks the Long-Awaited Words

RELATED: "Cultural Genocide," Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls Residential Schools

March of Reconciliation

RELATED: Bearing Witness: Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation March Draws Thousands to Ottawa Streets [Video]

Wrenching Personal Stories

RELATED: 6,000 Kids Died in Residential Schools: Canada Truth and Reconciliation Commission

Music and Dancing, With Buffy Sainte-Marie

RELATED: Truth and Reconciliation: The Road to Healing Is Long and Arduous

Unfiltered: Justice Murray Sinclair Presents the TRC’s Report

RELATED: Video: Canada Marks Third Anniversary of Residential Schools Apology

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