Research suggests public awareness of past harms from residential schools has increased but more work needs to be done educating Canadians on lasting impacts of the institutions.
Researchers from the University of Manitoba, University of Victoria and Toronto Metropolitan University, in collaboration with the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, measured the progress of non-Indigenous and Indigenous Peoples in their shared journey toward reconciliation in 2022.
The team surveyed 3,174 Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in six regions across the country through an online questionnaire.
They found 90 per cent of non-Indigenous respondents and 94 per cent of Indigenous respondents had read or heard about residential schools, up from 65 per cent and 87 per cent respectively in 2021.
The researchers say this is likely due to widespread publicity of unmarked burial sites at several former residential schools and a visit to Canada last year by Pope Francis, who apologized for harms at the schools.
While the report found an uptick in several other important measures of reconciliation, there were some areas that did not see a positive trend, including the engagement of non-Indigenous people with Indigenous communities.
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This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 13, 2023.