The province of Manitoba congratulated the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) on the release of its final report on the legacy of the residential school system in Canada and supports the calls to action as presented by Justice Murray Sinclair, Premier Greg Selinger announced today.
“We respect the findings of the commission’s report and recognize our role in the reconciliation process. This report provides a blueprint for Canadians and is an important starting point for the healing process that will lead to a new relationship with Indigenous people,” said Premier Selinger. “It is an honour that Manitoba is home to the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation.”
More than 150,000 Indigenous children went through the residential school system. As a result, for more than 100 years parents were not allowed to raise their own children, resulting in horrible consequences for communities and families, the premier said. The intergenerational effects continue today, as residential school survivors struggle to raise their families with cultural traditions that were taken away from them, he added. After more than six years, over 2 million words and six volumes, the TRC has compiled a comprehensive history of residential schools where over 3,200 deaths occurred.
“Combined with the recently announced inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, Canada now has a unique opportunity to forge a new nation-to-nation relationship with the Indigenous people of this country,” Premier Selinger added.
The province also supports the commissioners in their recognition of the exclusion of Métis students from the residential school settlement agreement and the unique challenges faced by Inuit Canadians. The province eagerly awaits the details of the two volumes that specifically address the Métis exclusion and the Inuit and Northern experience.
Aboriginal and Northern Affairs Minister Eric Robinson, deputy premier of Manitoba, is himself a residential school survivor and was in Ottawa today to represent Manitoba at the release ceremony.
“This report represents the pain and suffering of more than 6,000 brave individuals who came forward to tell their stories to the commission,” Minister Robinson said. “We intend to honour them by respecting the findings of the report and we will continue working toward a solution that allows survivors of the residential school system to heal.”
The Manitoba government is a leader in the pursuit of reconciliation and has been taking many unilateral steps to be more inclusive towards Indigenous communities, Premier Selinger said. Over the last few years, it has:
- formed the Aboriginal Issues Committee of Cabinet (AICC);
- named the first Cree deputy premier in Canada;
- apologized for the historical event known as the ‘60s Scoop;
- passed the Aboriginal Languages Recognition Act in 2010;
- fostered First Nation partnerships with Manitoba Hydro;
- appointed a special advisor on Indigenous women’s issues;
- recognized the legislative assembly of Assiniboia; and
- acknowledged the contributions of the Métis in the creation of Manitoba.
This fall, the province also introduced proposed legislation that would ensure all Manitoba students and teachers would learn about the histories and cultures of Indigenous people, the legacy of residential schools and the significance of treaties in the present day.
Currently plans are underway for Manitoba to host the second national roundtable on missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, the premier said. In his discussions with the other premiers, Premier Selinger undertook to have Manitoba host these meetings.
Today’s announcement by the province reinforces a previous government-wide commitment to work with First Nation, Métis and Inuit stakeholders, as well as non-governmental organizations on the ongoing, long-term implementation of the calls to action recommended by Chief Justice Sinclair, Premier Selinger said.
- 30 -
BACKGROUND INFORMATION: POLICIES AND PROGRAMS ALREADY IN EFFECT IN MANITOBA
Manitoba Government Diversity and Inclusion Strategy
The multi-pronged strategy is shaped around three objectives:
- to recruit from a diverse, qualified group of potential applicants to build a representative workforce, at all levels of the organization;
- to identify and remove employment barriers to enable the full participation of all employees; and
- to cultivate a culture that motivates individuals to contribute to their full potential and build a career with a high-performing Manitoba government.
Barrier-free Recruitment Policy
The policy sets out the expectation that recruitment and selection in the Manitoba government must be inclusive and free of employment barriers.
Employment Equity in Staffing Policy
This policy establishes employment equity as factor in all appointments to positions in the Manitoba government. The policy allows for special measures to be used such as designating specific competitive processes for members of a designated equity group or giving preference to applicants from designated groups.
Career Gateway Program
The Career Gateway Program is a placement and referral program for external job seekers who self-declare as a member of one of the following employment equity groups: Aboriginal, visible minority and persons with a disability. The program gives participants opportunities to develop skills and experience so that they may successfully compete for a career within the civil service. The program has three streams – placement, referral and special initiatives.
Diversity Employee Development Program
The Diversity Employee Development Program is a 12-month development program for existing regular employees who have demonstrated leadership potential and who self-declare as a member of one of the following employment equity groups: Aboriginal (AB), visible minority (VM) and persons with a disability (PWD). Participants are provided with additional development, learning and networking opportunities.
Manitoba Diversity Internship Program
The Manitoba Diversity Internship Program is a one-year program for the recruitment of external candidates who have self-declared as AB, VM and PWD to difficult-to-recruit positions in departments. The program is focused on position- or occupation-specific placements with limited rotational assignments within similar occupational groups and corporately supported training.
POLICIES AND PROGRAMS IN PROGRESS
Graduate Transition Program (GTP)
The GTP will support the transition of recent graduates to employment in the Manitoba government.
Northern Recruitment Strategy
This strategy works toward building relationships in northern communities in support of recruitment to Manitoba government positions.
Partnerships for work experience placements
Work experience placements are co-ordinated by the Civil Service Commission in government departments.