TRC closing events & affiliated activities, Ottawa May 30 – June 3

trc- cover image The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada on Indian Residential Schools closes its multi-year mandate with events here in Ottawa over the next few days. Here are listings of official TRC events open to the public as well as others being held independently that are related in theme.

These listings may change and are not guaranteed to be accurate. The official TRC website for the event program can be found at this link or the full PDF version here and includes more details/description on the official TRC events. Unless noted, all events listed below are free. ** The listings here do not imply my association/involvement with or endorsement of any of these events.

Note also that the TRC is providing live webcasting, at this link.

Please scroll down for the listings.


First –  a video clip of TRC Chair Murray Sinclair speaking about how the residentials schools constituted an act of genocide against Indigenous peoples in Canada (you can see the full video interview with Sinclair, along with an interview with Barney Williams Jr of the TRC Survivor Committee, and an article from the Montreal TRC event, at this link).


Also of note: these events are all taking place on unceded and unsurrendered Algonquin territory. There is currently a lands claim process underway for much of Eastern Ontario that would make the land ceded. You can listen to this interview with policy advisor Russell Diabo on the injustice involved.
(As Thomas King writes in The Incovenient Indian, “Land. If you understand nothing else about the history of Indians in North America, you need to understand that the question that really matters is the question of land.”)


Ongoing events:

The Witness Blanket, a large art installation designed by Master Carver Carey Newman. The Witness Blanket incorporates almost 900 fragments of personal and national history to tell the story of the First Nations, Métis and Inuit children and their families who were impacted by the Indian Residential Schools from the 1870s to the 1990s. It will be on display at Ottawa City Hall, 110 Laurier Ave West, until July 9 as part of a planned seven-year cross-Canada tour.

Kisemanito Pakitinasuwin, The Creator’s Sacrifice, a series of stunning paintings by Cree artist Ovide Bighetty, will be displayed until June 3 at St. Joseph’s Parish, 151 Laurier Ave East.   Visit during opening hours (generally 9am – 7pm) to view the art work and reflect on the journey of reconciliation.

‘Day 0’ – Saturday May 30, 2015

at St. Richard’s Church, 7 Rossland Ave (off Merivale Rd; city bus #176):

  • Noon-8pm – Indian Residential School Survivors Powwow and Feast
    Food donations needed; Come and support this event
    Contact Doug Comegan 613-710-2796 (text) /

at University of Ottawa Jock Turcot University Centre:

at The Bronson Centre, 211 Bronson Ave:

  • 6:30-10pm – Bi-Giwen Indigenous Adoptee Gathering Fundraiser
    An evening of entertainment with a very special guest Juno Award winning musician and nominee, Grand Chief Of Muskegowuk Council Lawrence Martin – Wapistan, and other performers. Admission by donation, suggested $10. Also bring $ for food and raffle tickets. Facebook event link


Day One – Sunday May 31, 2015

at Victoria Island:

  • 4:30am(?) – Sunrise Lighting of the Sacred Fire Ceremony
    Pipe Ceremony and Water Ceremony

trc walk imageWalk for Reconciliation:

  • 9:40-11:40am – Shuttle buses leaving continuously from Ottawa City Hall / Marion Dewar Plaza, 110 Laurier Ave W, to Victoria Island and to École secondaire de l’Île, Gatineau
    (more info on shuttle and parking at this link)
  • 11:15am – Walk for Reconciliation Stage Program Begins
    at École secondaire de l’Île, 255 Saint-Rédempteur Street, Gatineau
  • Noon – Start of Walk for Reconciliation
    from École secondaire de l’Île
  • 12:30pm (approximate) – Start of Walk for Reconciliation, Short Route
    from Victoria Island
  • 1:30(approximate)-5pm – Walk for Reconciliation Stage Program and Entertainment
    Marion Dewar Plaza, 110 Laurier Ave. West, Ottawa

At the Human Rights Monument (Elgin St at Lisgar)

  • 5pm – Circle of Prayer, led by KAIROS

At St. Joseph’s Church, 151 Laurier Ave E:

  • 5pm – Celebrating Reconciliation – reForming Relationships (sponsored by the Christian Reformed Church)

At the National Gallery of Canada, 380 Sussex Dr:

  • 7pm – Film Screening of Trick or Treaty by Alanis Obomsawin,  with panel discussion afterwards featuring Obomsawin and TRC Commissioner Marie Wilson


 Day Two – Monday June 1, 2015

At Victoria Island:

  • 5:15am(?) – Sunrise Ceremony at the Sacred Fire

At the Delta Hotel, 101 Lyon St N:

  • 8:30am – Grand Entry
  • 8:45am – Opening Prayer
  • 9am–4pm – Special Walking with our Sisters Memorial to Remember the Children
  • 9am–5pm – Learning Place (organization info tables)
  • 9am–5pm – Archival Displays
  • 9am–5pm – Private Statement Gathering
  • 9am – Welcome and Induction of Honorary Witnesses
  • 9–Noon – Sharing Circle with Survivor Committee Members
  • 9-10am – Pike Head Teachings
  • 10:30am-Noon – KAIROS Blanket Exercise
  • 10:30am–Noon – Actions of Reconciliation
  • Noon-12:30pm – Update on Day Schools Litigation
  • 1-3pm –  Panel: The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: Justice, Reconciliation and Hope
    Introduction: Commissioner Wilton Littlechild; Moderator: Jennifer Preston; Panelists: Grand Chief Ed John; Ellen Gabriel; Paul Joffe; David Langtry
  • 3:15–4:30pm – Inspiring Reconciliaction: Creating a New Way Forward
    Panelists: Chief Dr. Robert Joseph; Jessica Bolduc; Mary Simon; Bob Watts; Todd Khozein

At the Museum of History (Douglas Cardinal Room),100 Rue Laurier, Gatineau:

  •  3:30-5pm – Childhood Paintings from the Alberni Indian Residential School: A story of return and reconciliation

At Parliament Hill:

At Christ Church Cathedral, 439 Queen Street:

  • 7pm – Overcoming Adversity: Edmund Metatawabin and Armand Garnet Ruffo In Conversation with CBC’s Shelagh Rogers

At the National Arts Centre, 53 Elgin St:

  • 7:30pm (doors open 7pm) – Reconciliation Through the Arts
    Royal Winnipeg Ballet brief performance of ‘Going Home Star’ followed by a discussion panel – Advance registration required, email:

At Marion Dewar Plaza (Ottawa City Hall) 110 Laurier Ave W

  • 8–9:30pm – Play: The Voice of Silence (La voix du silence)


Day Three – Tuesday June 2, 2015

At Victoria Island:

  • 5:15am(?) – Sunrise Ceremony at the Sacred Fire

At the Delta Hotel, 101 Lyon St N:

  • 9am–5pm – Learning Place (organization info tables)
  • 9am–5pm – Archival Displays
  • 9am–5pm – Private Statement Gathering
  • 9am –  Induction of Honorary Witnesses
  • 9–11am –  Sharing Circle with Survivor Committee Members
  • 11am – Official Release of TRC findings on Indian Residential Schools
    also available by webcast at
  • 11:30–1:30pm –  Survivor Luncheon
  • 1:30–3:00pm – Response from Parties to the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement
  • 3:00–4:30pm –  Passing the Torch: Pledges of Reconciliation

At 473 Cumberland St (St. Paul’s Eastern United Church):

At First United Church Ottawa, 347 Richmond Road:

  • 6:30pm – Truth, Reconciliation and Mining: A Challenge by Mayan Women
    ​​Hear Ana Guadalupe Matzir Miculax and Crisanta Perez’ views on the impacts of Canadian mining companies in Guatemala.

At Marion Dewar Plaza (Ottawa City Hall) 110 Laurier Ave W:

  • 7–9pm – Talent Night Performances

At the National Gallery (380 Sussex Dr):

  • 7-9:30pm – Film Screening and Discussion Panel
    Older than America” by Georgina Lightning

At University of Ottawa, GSAED seminar room 307 (above Cafe Nostalgica, 601 Cumberland St):

  • 7-9pm – Hidden Generations: On the Road with Colleen Cardinal
    Community activist and Indigenous adoptee speaks about the connections between Residential Schools, the Sixties Scoop, and Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women. With special Guest Dr. Raven Sinclair. Admission: pay-what-you-can (suggested $10)


Day Four – Wednesday June 3, 2015

At Victoria Island:

  • 5:15am(?) – Sunrise Ceremony at the Sacred Fire

At the Delta Hotel, 101 Lyon St N:

  • 9am-noon – “Healing With Humour and Music” presented by Winston Wuttunee

At Rideau Hall grounds, 1 Sussex Dr:

  • 1:15pm – Honouring Memories; Planting Dreams Ceremony

At Marion Dewar Plaza (Ottawa City Hall), 110 Laurier Ave W:


1 thought on “TRC closing events & affiliated activities, Ottawa May 30 – June 3

  1. Great job could you please also share all to be visible to History and voices of the people heard.
    Supporting appellants to rezoning of Albert + Chaudiere Islands to Ontario Municipal Board
    Douglas Cardinal, Romola Trebilcock, Larry McDemerett, Lindsay Lambert, Richard Jackman

    Ottawa City Hall Council Chambers
    Wed. June 3 at 10 am at same time T+R Commissioners have private closing ceremony at Rideau Hall to honor ending one era and entering a new!

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