They came for the children : A Film in 5 Parts Based on the TRC Final Report on Residential Schools in Canada

March 15, 2019 — Film maker Kevin Moynihan, with the financial help the Jesuits and a number of other religious orders, has produced a documentary on the residential schools and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.There are five short films of about 20 minutes each that can be viewed freely on the web (see the videos below) :

  1. Introduction: What Happened - exploring the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement which gave us the TRC
  2. History: The main historical concepts from Assimilation to "We are all Treaty People"
  3. The Residential Schools: An exploration of life at the schools.
  4. The Church Apologies and Indigenous Spirituality
  5. The 94 Calls to Action and some examples of positive response.

Father Peter Bisson, SJ, former Provincial of CDA and party to many aspects of the TRC, present and future writes this commentary on the films:

"Kevin Moynihan’s documentary is a very good tool to educate people about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s mission. The TRC completed its work in 2015 with their Final Report on Indian residential schools in Canada. While the Report told of the good efforts of many well-intentioned people, it mainly revealed the schools’ devastating impact on Indigenous Peoples, and showed how this was part of a larger government policy of colonization.
The film gently and soberly introduces Canadians, including Canadian Christians, to these hitherto little known dark sides of our story, and how they have shaped and harmed our life as a country. The film, like the Report, says we must hear and absorb this fuller story if Indigenous Peoples and Settlers are to reconcile and build just and good relationships with each other. The documentary explains important elements of the bigger story of colonization, like the doctrine of discovery, and points out sources of hope in our story like the treaties and the Royal Proclamation of 1763. It also introduces us to some of the people who have been working hard for reconciliation, like the TRC Commissioners, Indigenous scholars and activists, political and religious leaders, high school artists, and invites the viewers to join them in telling a new story together."
  1. Introduction: What Happened - exploring the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement which gave us the TRC

  2. History: The main historical concepts from Assimilation to "We are all Treaty People"

  3. The Residential Schools: An exploration of life at the schools.

  4. The Church Apologies and Indigenous Spirituality

  5. The 94 Calls to Action and some examples of positive response.




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