Mir lecture series starts with truth and reconciliation

The Mir Centre for Peace new lecture series season will kick off at Selkirk College this September.

The chair of the Truth and Reconciliation of Commission of Canada will kick off the Mir Centre for Peace new lecture series season at Selkirk College this September.

Justice Murray Sinclair is the first speaker of the 2012-13 lecture series, speaking at the Brilliant Cultural Centre in Castlegar on Sept. 21 (7 p.m.) about his role in educating all Canadians about what happened in Canada’s Indian Residential Schools (IRS).

The commission was also tasked with documenting the stories of survivors, families, communities and anyone personally affected by the Indian residential school experience.

“The relationship between Aboriginal people and non-Aboriginal people in Canada has suffered as a result of the Indian Residential Schools”, said Mir Centre for Peace chair, Randy Janzen.

“This event is important because healing that relationship will require education, awareness, and an increased understanding of the legacy still being felt today. Canada still has a long way to go as far as understanding what happened.”

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission is headquartered in Winnipeg, but Justice Sinclair and his staff are visiting places across Canada to raise awareness and collect stories from those who were involved in the residential schools.

The Commission has engaged with survivors in order to record their experience in a safe, respectful and culturally appropriate manner. A person might share his or her experience through a one-on-one interview, in a written statement, or in a public forum.

Justice Sinclair was born and raised in the Selkirk area north of Winnipeg, graduating from his high school as class valedictorian and athlete of the year in 1968. He attended the universities of Winnipeg and Manitoba and in 1979 graduated from the Faculty of Law at the University of Manitoba.

He was called to the Manitoba Bar in 1980 and was known for his representation of Aboriginal people and his knowledge of Aboriginal legal issues.  He has been awarded a National Aboriginal Achievement award in addition to many other community service awards, as well as honourary degrees from the University of Manitoba, and the University of Ottawa.

He is an adjunct professor of law and an adjunct professor in the Faculty of Graduate Studies at the University of Manitoba.

Tickets are $16 adults, $13 students and seniors and are available at Selkirk College bookstores, (365-1281), Otter Books in Nelson and at the door.  For more information, call 365-1234.