Chief Dr. Robert Joseph, Reconciliation CanadaVancouver (September 18, 2013): The World Sikh Organization of Canada and the Sikh community in Canada stand in solidarity with Aboriginal Canadians to support the work of the Truth & Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC), in the spirit of Sarbat Da Bhalla or the upliftment and benefit of all.
The TRC was established to learn the truth about what happened in residential schools in Canada to aboriginal children. These government-funded, church-run schools were set up to eliminate parental involvement in the intellectual, cultural, and spiritual development of Aboriginal children. The schools, in short, aimed to take the Indian out of the child.
Over 130 residential schools were located across the country, with the last school closing in 1996. During the approximately 150 years the schools were open, aboriginal children experienced physical, mental and sexual abuse. They were forbidden to speak their language and practice their own faith and culture.