Some survivors of Canada’s Indian residential schools are furious that their personal stories of abuse might become public, despite having been guaranteed confidentiality during Truth and Reconciliation gatherings across Canada.
About 150,000 Indigenous youth were taken from their families and sent to the church-run residential school system which existed from the 1870s until the 1990s.
Phil Gattensby went to a residential school and has worked as a support worker to other survivors in about 50 Truth and Reconciliation Commission proceedings. For his part, he is comfortable telling his story to anyone as part of his healing. But he understands that others feel differently.
“One of them said that if he knew ahead of time people would be putting his story out into a public domain, or whatever you want to call it, that he wouldn’t have told his story,” Gattensby told CBC News.
The issue came up because the Truth and Reconciliation Commission is asking an Ontario Superior Court whether it can include those stories as part of its National Research Centre.
CBC News - Residential school survivors fear testimony could be made public – here
CBC - Reconciliation not opportunity to ‘get over it’: Justice Murray Sinclair – here
Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada website - www.trc.ca