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Highlights From Truth And Reconciliation Report On Residential Schools

The report urges the solicitation from Pope Francis of an apology for the role played by the Roman Catholic Church.

OTTAWA - The Truth and Reconciliation Commission examining Canada's residential-school system has released a summary of its six-volume report, the culmination of six years of study of the church-run, government-funded institutions, which operated for more than 120 years.

Some of the 94 recommendations it contains:

— Adopt and implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples;

— Establish a Royal Proclamation of Reconciliation reaffirming the nation-to-nation relationship between Aboriginal Peoples and the Crown;

— Solicit from Pope Francis an apology for the role played by the Roman Catholic Church;

— Call a public inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women;

— Establish a written federal policy reaffirming the independence of the RCMP to investigate crimes in which the federal government may be an interested party;

— Change the oath of citizenship to reflect treaties with Aboriginal Peoples;

— Establish, through the provincial and territorial governments and the federal government, national standards for foster care and reduce the number of aboriginal children in care;

— Repeal Section 43 of the Criminal Code, the so-called spanking law, in order to outlaw corporal punishment;

— Create a mandatory, age-appropriate curriculum on residential schools, treaties and the contributions of Aboriginal Peoples taught across Canada from kindergarten to grade 12;

— Build a residential-schools monument in every provincial and territorial capital;

— Increase CBC and Radio-Canada funding to better ensure it can support reconciliation and include the languages and perspectives of Aboriginal Peoples;

— Pass a federal law establishing aboriginal education standards to ensure children going to school on reserves have access to the same resources as those outside their communities;

— Develop post-secondary programs in aboriginal languages;

— Establish mechanisms to narrow the health-care gap between Aboriginal Peoples and other Canadians, including building aboriginal healing practices into the health-care system and spending more on aboriginal healing centres;

— Allow trial judges to exempt Aboriginal Peoples from mandatory minimum sentences and work to reduce the over-representation of Aboriginal Peoples in prisons and jails;

— Settle residential-school claims with those excluded from settlement agreement, including Metis, day school students and those in Newfoundland and Labrador.

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