News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

June 30, 2015

MANITOBA GOVERNMENT PASSES LEGISLATION TO GUIDE MANAGEMENT OF RECORDS COLLECTED BY TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION COMMISSION



The Manitoba government has passed legislation that will ensure the records to be transferred from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) to the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR) at the University of Manitoba will be subject to freedom of information and protection of privacy legislation, Tourism, Culture, Heritage, Sport and Consumer Protection Minister Ron Lemieux announced today.

“The Truth and Reconciliation Commission is a significant national undertaking and it is a prestigious honour that Manitoba will be the holder of the records,” said Minister Lemieux.  “This legislation empowers the centre at the University of Manitoba to manage the records so they are appropriately accessible to promote greater understanding of the residential school system.”

The legislation was developed in close consultation with the TRC and the NCTR.  It sets out a balanced privacy and access framework to guide the centre’s efforts in managing the records collected by the TRC and ensures compliance with the terms of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, the minister noted.

“It is important to the reconciliation process that these records and documents are preserved with purpose and careful consideration of the privacy of survivors,” said Justice Murray Sinclair, chair, TRC.  “This legislation will help the centre fulfil its role as a safe place for survivors, educators, students, artists and others to obtain important resources that help move us forward on the paths of reconciliation and healing.”

“Manitoba is honoured to provide the legislative framework the centre needs to take on the task of holding onto these important documents and personal stories,” Minister Lemieux said.  “It’s important this information be made available for researchers, survivors and others to learn about residential schools while still respecting the privacy and dignity of those who shared their painful memories.”

“This legislation gives the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation a suite of tools that balances the critical priorities of access to the records while ensuring the protection of the highly sensitive personal information they contain,” said David Barnard, president and vice-chancellor, University of Manitoba.  “It is our privilege for the centre to be here at the University of Manitoba, where materials can be studied for generations to come.”

The TRC collected records under federal privacy legislation and the new legislation provides similar protection.  The records held at the University of Manitoba will be subject to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) and Personal Health Information Act (PHIA) along with the provisions of the new legislation.

“Fourteen residential schools operated in the province many of them upwards of 75 years.  The intergenerational effects of these schools remain with us today.  It is important and fitting the records of the TRC will be stored here ensuring this history is not forgotten,” Aboriginal and Northern Affairs Minister Eric Robinson said, noting the June 2 release of the TRC Summary Report and Calls to Action has set recommendations for moving forward.

The TRC was established to bring about truth, healing and reconciliation.  The commission’s mandate includes the collection of statements and documents of former students, their families and communities, as well as other interested parties.  The work of the TRC is expected to be completed in the summer of 2015 and at that time the NCTRwill take over the care and management of the records, Minister Lemieux said.

For more information, please contact Ry Moran, director, National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, University of Manitoba, at 204-318-2926 or email Ry.Moran@umanitoba.ca.

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