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Moving Forward with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) is an independent body that was established to provide former students of Indian residential schools and anyone affected by the legacy of those schools with an opportunity to share their individual experiences in a safe and culturally appropriate manner.

The Honourable Justice Murray Sinclair, Marie Wilson and Chief Wilton Littlechild were appointed as TRC Commissioners in June 2009. Over the next six years, gatherings and hearings took place across the country with residential school survivors.

Since releasing the TRC's final report in 2015, the Government of Saskatchewan has continued to advance reconciliation in partnership with First Nation and Métis people communities and other Saskatchewan residents. Currently, the government has responded to 30 of the 34 Calls to Action focused on provincial authorities and 17 additional calls not directed at the province.

An example of government’s response to the TRC Calls to Action is the Residential School Memorial, which was an initiative undertaken in response to Call to Action 82.

In June 2022, on National Indigenous Peoples Day, the Government of Saskatchewan and the Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan dedicated the Saskatchewan Residential School Memorial on the grounds of Government House in Regina. The memorial is a tribute to the survivors of Canada’s residential school system while honouring the countless children who were removed from their families and all others affected by the legacy of residential schools.

In addition to responding to the TRC Calls to Action, the following are examples of actions the province has taken to advance reconciliation in the province:

Government of Saskatchewan commits $2 million for research of Residential School sites
In June 2021, the government provided $2 million to the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) to fund research into undocumented deaths and burials on former federally operated residential school sites in Saskatchewan. The FSIN is supporting First Nations in their efforts to carry out this research, with many Indigenous communities across the province having announced their intention to investigate former school sites in their communities.

Saskatchewan Proclaims September 30 Truth and Reconciliation Day
Since 2021, the Government of Saskatchewan has proclaimed the Day for Truth and Reconciliation each year in response to Call to Action #80. By recognizing the Day for Truth and Reconciliation, the government encourages all Saskatchewan residents to remember the historic and ongoing impacts of the residential school system on Indigenous people in Canada.

Treaty Boundary Signs
In September 2022, the Government of Saskatchewan and the Office of the Treaty Commissioner unveiled official road signs to honour the Treaty 4 and Treaty 6 boundary on Highway 11, one of the province’s busiest highways. The signs were installed between Davidson and Bladworth. Additional signage indicating Saskatchewan’s Treaty boundaries located along the National Highway System will be installed.

Saskatchewan Introduces Legislation to Further Self-Governance
In December 2022, the Government of Saskatchewan introduced two pieces of legislation: The Summary Offences Procedure Amendment Act and The Cannabis Control Amendment Act, laying the groundwork for increased First Nation self-governance. The Summary Offences Procedure Amendment Act, 2022 will provide a legal framework that First Nation communities can use to enforce their laws and bylaws on reserve.

These amendments will allow First Nation communities to use the more simplified summary offences procedure instead of the federal Criminal Code to issue tickets and fines for traffic violations and other provincial offences. Meanwhile, The Cannabis Control Amendment Act, 2022 establishes the legal framework for First Nations to license and regulate the distribution and retailing of cannabis on-reserve consistent with federal and provincial legislation to develop a local cannabis authority.

Proclaiming Treaties Recognition Week
In May 2023, the Government of Saskatchewan proclaimed May 21 to 27 as Treaties Recognition Week. The Treaties in Saskatchewan are formal agreements between the Crown and First Nations with defined expectations and obligations. Treaties Recognition Week honours the importance of Treaties and promotes educational opportunities surrounding Treaty rights and relationships.

Our efforts to advance reconciliation is continuous, and the Government of Saskatchewan is committed to this work.

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