07/30/2013 06:12 EDT

Vancouver Truth Commission Hearings Sept. 16 - 22


The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) will conduct a round of hearings concerning the legacy of Canada's residential school system in Vancouver from Sept. 16-22.

Researchers have estimated that at least 3,000 children died in residential schools, with disease the single biggest killer.

"This policy has been devastating to Aboriginal families and communities, and to relations between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples. It’s time for a new relationship rooted in mutual respect," TRC Chair Murray Sinclair said in a news release.

"Reconciliation Week" will begin with the lighting of a flame at West Vancouver's Ambleside Park on Sept. 16. The following day will see First Nations ride canoes from Kits Point to Science World as part of the All Nations Canoe Gathering.

The TRC will then host the British Columbia National Event, to be held at the PNE from Sept. 18 to 21. The event will provide a chance for residential school survivors, their children and others affected by the policy to share their experiences in a public or private setting.

The Walk for Reconciliation in downtown Vancouver will take place on Sept. 22 at 10 a.m. The walk concludes with a New Way Forward Celebration at 11 a.m. that will see residential school survivors share stories of reconciliation.

The TRC was established as part of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement (IRSSA), which came as a result of a class action lawsuit against the federal government.

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