Feds ordered to release residential school documents

Susie Jones, one of several members of the Walpole Island First Nation community who is a survivor...

Susie Jones, one of several members of the Walpole Island First Nation community who is a survivor of the residential school system, stands near a monument. (QMI Agency)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:08 PM ET

A judge has ordered the feds to release documents to a commission probing the dark legacy of Canada's residential schools.

In December, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said the government would "let the courts decide" if documents related to the system could be released to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).

"The commission is now seeking some documents, which the government believes are outside of its mandate ... for example, personal records of survivors given in confidence to the government," Harper said in the Commons prior to the holiday break.

In previous documents filed to the Ontario Superior Court, the TRC suggested Ottawa was hampering the retrieval of documents related to its mandate.

The commission continues to gather evidence of the church-run, government-funded residential school program that only formally ended in 1996 after 130 years. It's been since found responsible for widespread abuse of the Native children who were sent away from home to live at the schools.

The government offered an apology for the program in the House of Commons in June 2008.


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