Call to Action # 71

We call upon all chief coroners and provincial vital statistics agencies that have not provided to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada their records on the deaths of Aboriginal children in the care of residential school authorities to make these documents available to the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation. 

Why “Stalled”?

Jan. 23, 2023: Ontario is providing a streamlined process to reduce the burden for Indigenous communities, organizations, and family members trying to locate death records for children who attended Indian Residential Schools in Ontario. 

Nov. 1. 2021: Globe and Mail – So far, only B.C. and Alberta have fully complied, according to Raymond Frogner, the NCTR’s head of archives. Other jurisdictions have produced some records, but Mr. Frogner said the responses remain incomplete. Additionally missing are records from provincial governments, most of whom have not yet produced vital statistics, including death certificates for children lost at schools or coroners’ reports. That so many records remain missing many years later “is an abject failure of those entities to fulfill their legal obligation,” said Donald Worme, former lead counsel for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and a founding member of the Indigenous Bar Association. 

As of 2014, as stated in “Honoring the Truth, Reconciling for the Future, Summary of the Final report of the TRC” (July 23, 2015 p. 259) Chief Coroners in Ontario, Saskatchewan, Northwest Territories, Manitoba and Nova Scotia responded to the Commission’s request for records.

Also, as of 2014, in addition to the office in British Columbia, vital statistics offices in Alberta, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Saskatchewan, Yukon, and Nunavut had responded to the Commission’s request for records. 

Current Status


Call to Action
last updated

January 23, 2024

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Official Death Certificates of Indigenous children

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