AMC Attends Signing Ceremony in Support of the NCTR’s Acquisition of Records
March 13, 2023
Treaty One Territory, Manitoba
Treaty One Territory, MB – Grand Chief Cathy Merrick, on behalf of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC), was honoured to be present as a witness to a signing ceremony between the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR) and Manitoba Vital Statistics, held at the Legislative Building in Winnipeg, MB, today.
“The signing of an agreement between the NCTR and Manitoba Vital Statistics represents an important step towards First Nations Data Sovereignty,” says Grand Chief Cathy Merrick. “We are pleased to hear that the government of Manitoba is taking this step to ensure these records are made available to Survivors in a manner consistent with the spirit and intent of both the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC) Calls to Action and the work of the TRC.”
According to the NCTR, the data sharing “Member of Understanding Agreement” (MOU) between the University of Manitoba on behalf of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation and the Vital Statistics Branch of Manitoba outlines the relationship between the 2 entities in terms of the transfer of data. The NCTR will provide names of children who passed away at Manitoba residential schools to the Vital Statistics Branch by way of an application so that the Vital Statistics Branch can conduct a search of its records and provide the relevant records to the NCTR.
This transfer agreement with the provincial government will allow Survivors to access even more information as this partnership follows the agreement made with Canada in 2022 to hand over more records on residential schools that Ottawa had been holding back. It is through these records that Survivors and families can uncover more truths about their relatives and their communities.
Grand Chief Cathy Merrick says, “I know too many of our First Nations people who have been denied access to settlement agreements, denied compensation, and denied status registration because of the lack of access to information. This agreement signed today is very important in that the records that will be handed over will be a way to get at the truth, to be able to tell our stories, to be able to validate and acknowledge where we have come from as survivors.”
For more information, please contact:
Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs
About the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs
The AMC was formed in 1988 by the Chiefs in Manitoba to advocate on issues that commonly affect First Nations in Manitoba. AMC is an authorized representative of 62 of the 63 First Nations in Manitoba with a total of more than 151,000 First Nation citizens in the province, accounting for approximately 12 percent of the provincial population. AMC represents a diversity of Anishinaabe (Ojibway), Nehetho / Ininew (Cree), Anishininew (Ojibwe-Cree), Denesuline (Dene) and Dakota Oyate (Dakota) people.