On Thursday 29 November 2012, the Jeanne Sauvé Foundation hosted the 2012 Jeanne Sauvé Address, Truth and Reconciliation in Canada: Lessons Learned from Canada’s Residential Schools Experience, delivered by Commissioner Marie Wilson.

Her eloquent and very moving Address, which can be read in its entirety here, challenged the audience – and all Canadians – to engage in solidarity with survivors of Canada’s residential schools system and to support justice and healing.

Commissioner Wilson’s talk was followed by a panel discussion among four Sauvé Scholars: Éloge Butera (2009-2010), Najme Kishani Farahani (2012-13), Tairah Firdous (2012-13) and Jonathan Sas (2012-13), and facilitated by Sauvé Program Director Simone Hanchet. Drawing on their backgrounds and experiences as advocates of social justice in their respective communities, their discussion explored several themes, including awareness about the residential schools system both in Canada and internationally, education as a tool for oppression or empowerment, the power of trauma to carry forward through generations, the nature of individual and collective resilience, the relationship between truth and healing, and ways forward. The discussion was followed by a lively vin d’honneur.

The Sauvé Foundation is proud to support the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which will be holding hearings in Quebec as of early 2013, culminating in a National Event from April 24 to 28 in Montreal. To get involved in the Commission’s work in Quebec, please contact Denis Guertin.

Le Devoir reporter Caroline Montpetit met with Commissioner Wilson prior to the Address to discuss the role of the Commission in Quebec. You may read her report of that conversation here.

Sauvé Scholar Jonathan Sas also filed this excellent report with Rabble.ca covering both the event itself and his own in-depth conversation with Dr. Wilson.