In 2008, Prime Minister Harper apologized for the shared government and church-run Indian Residential School System. As part of that apology, an independent Truth and Reconciliation Commission was struck, using a model practiced by only a handful of countries worldwide. Its mandate runs through 2014, and in June and July it will hold local public hearings in Alberta- hearings where former students and others will stand before us and tell their stories.

What does this kind of courage have to do with Albertans and Canadians? What is the TRC trying to address, and why? Should we care? Should we attend? This presentation will address these questions, and invites you to bring your own.

Speakers: Julie Graham and Mike Frank

Julie Graham is the human rights Education and Campaigns Coordinator for KAIROS, the social justice organization of eleven national Canadian churches and church agencies, represented in Lethbridge by an energetic local chapter. The daughter of immigrants, she is from Coast Salish territory in BC and has Mennonite and United Church roots. Graham is an educator and writer and has worked on right relations and Indigenous rights for the past 20 years. Currently her work focuses on the TRC and what Indigenous rights mean for non-Indigenous Canadians.

Mike Frank is the Director of Operations for the Blood Tribe Department of Health. His background includes working as a health support worker with the Indian Residential School program, Lethbridge College Instructor and Peigan Board of Education Instructor for their Native studies programs and most recently been the Chief Electoral Officer for the Kainai Chief and Council elections. Mike is also a graduate of the U of L and a member of the U of L FNMI Alumni chapter.

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