It can start with a knock on the door one morning. It is the local Indian agent, or the parish priest, or, perhaps, a Mounted Police officer. So began the school experience of many Indigenous children in Canada for more than a hundred years, and so begins the history of residential schools prepared by the Truth & Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC). Between 2008 and 2015, the TRC provided opportunities for individuals, families, and communities to share their experiences of residential schools and released several reports based on 7000 survivor statements and five million documents from government, churches, and schools, as well as a solid grounding in secondary sources. "A Knock on the Door," published in collaboration with the National Research Centre for Truth & Reconciliation, gathers material from the several reports the TRC has produced to present the essential history and legacy of residential schools in a concise and accessible package. Survivor and former National Chief of the Assembly First Nations, Phil Fontaine, provides a Foreword, and an Afterword by Aimee Craft introduces the holdings and opportunities of the National Centre for Truth & Reconciliation, home to the archive of recordings, and documents collected by the TRC.
About the Author
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada was established in 2008 and led by the Honourable Justice Murray Sinclair (Chair), Dr. Marie Wilson, and Chief Wilson Littlechild.
Phil Fontaine is a Survivor, TRC honorary witness, and former National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations.
Aimee Craft is the Director of Research at the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation and an associate professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Manitoba. She is the author of "Breathing Life into the Stone Fort Treaty."