Reading the TRC

On September 30, Canada’s National Day of Truth and Reconciliation, we began a public reading of the Executive Summary of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s report.

This reading will continue over the coming weeks, as it will take up to 20 hours to read this important document to completion. Please join us, either as a reader, or just to listen. All are welcome.

We are meeting on zoom every Monday at 7am Pacific / 8am Central / 10am Eastern / 11pm Atlantic / 11.30pm NL&LAB/ 3pm Irish

To join the meeting, please click on this link at the above time:

We will meet for two hours, but you are welcome to come and go as your availability allows.

If you would like to participate in reading of the TRC Report over coming weeks, please click on this link.

If you have been affected by issues raised during our reading the TRC, and would like to speak to someone, please click on this link for links of organisations and resources.

Why are we reading the TRC?

We welcome the decision of the Canadian Government to declare 30th September as a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. This day honours the lost children and Survivors of residential schools, their families and communities.

It is the mission of Landspeak to build friendship, connection and collaboration between Indigenous, non-indigenous Canadian and Irish people, and to mark this important day.

On September 30, we hosted a one-hour online gathering, to begin an online durational reading of Honouring the Truth, Reconciling for the Future: The Executive Summary of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC).

This is a significant document – at over 500 pages, we anticipate it will take over 15 hours to read through, and we are organising weekly online zoom meetings over the coming weeks to read the report through in its entirety. We are inviting our friends and the general public to consider volunteering time to read a section of this document (more info below).

At our online event on 30th September at (09.00 CST / 12.00 ADT / 16.00 IST), we began the reading of this document, and were are honoured that Cheryl L’Hirondelle and Joseph Naytowhow opened this event, with song, reflections and a prayer, and that Louise Halfe, Canada’s first Indigenous Poet Laureate of Parliament, closed the event with reflections a prayer.

We were honoured also that Nancy Smyth, Ambassador of Canada to Ireland, and that Eamonn McKee Ambassador of Ireland to Canada, participated in the event.

Dr. Paul Halferty, Director of the Centre for Canadian Studies in UCD began the reading of the document, and was followed by Dr. Niall Majury, President of the Association of Canadian Studies in Ireland, and by Prof. Renée Hulan, of Saint Mary’s University Halifax.

The event concluded with an invitation to the public to sign up to read a section of the report. The Landspeak group will meet every Monday (times listed above) to read through the document until it is complete.

About the Truth and Reconciliation Commission

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) was officially launched in 2008 as part of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement (IRSSA). Intended to be a process that would guide Canadians through the difficult discovery of the facts behind the residential school system, the TRC was also meant to lay the foundation for lasting reconciliation across Canada.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Final Report is a testament to the courage of each and every survivor and family member who shared their story.

As an important step in rebuilding Canada’s relationship with Indigenous peoples, the Prime Minister of Canada met with leaders of the National Indigenous Organizations on December 16, 2015, in Ottawa to continue the dialogue on reconciliation. At that meeting, the Prime Minister committed to National Indigenous Organizations that he would meet with them annually in order to sustain and advance progress on shared priorities.

Why read the TRC Executive Summary online?

Heeding the call from Indigenous organizations, and in the wake of the horrific revelations of unmarked grave sites this summer, the Canadian Association for Theatre Research has invited white/non-Indigenous/settler Canadians to read the findings of the TRC in groups over the autumn.

Landspeak are responding to this call. In our mission to connect and foster dialogue between people in Ireland and Canada, we invite not only white/non-Indigenous/settler Canadians to read the TRC, but Irish people to read it also.

For white/non-Indigenous/settler Canadians, reading the report is a responsibility as we endeavour to move forward in a process of truth and reconciliation. For Irish people, reading the report will be in solidarity and support – for the Indigenous peoples of Canada, and also for the aspirations of this document produced on the behalf of all the people of Canada. While the weight or responsibility is on others to read this document, we would greatly welcome participation of Indigenous people in reading this reading of the report.

More information on the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation can be found on the Canadian government’s website here.