Delorme will chair new Residential School Documents Advisory Committee
CBC NEWS: Chief Cadmus Delorme of Cowessess First Nation will take charge of efforts to examine and share historic documents about residential schools in Canada.
Delorme recently announced he would not seek a third term as chief of Cowessess, which is located about 140 kilometres east of Regina.
Crown−Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada announced on Monday that Delorme will serve as chair of the new Residential School Documents Advisory Committee. The committee is tasked with developing recommendations for how to identify historical documents related to residential schools and share them with the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation.
“There can be no reconciliation without first uncovering the truth, and sharing relevant documents will help us do this,” said Marc Miller, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, in a news release about Delorme’s appointment.
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The committee will be composed of residential school survivors, members of First Nations, Inuit and Metis communities, experts and representatives of the federal government, the release said.
Delorme will be the independent chairperson for the committee and will have a mandate to ensure Indigenous voices are reflected in all discussion and decisions around the “identification, review and sharing of residential school-related documents,” Crown−Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada said in the release.
Delorme was not immediately available for an interview Tuesday after the announcement, but appeared last week on CBC’s the Morning Edition with Stefani Langenegger and spoke about the type of work he wanted to pursue after his term as chief ended. “I do want to help with economics. I do want to help with reconciliation,” he said. “There’s an Indigenous worldview and a western worldview that we all have here. And I’m hoping that I could be a specialist somewhere to help bridge that for a stronger future.”
Delorme gained international attention for his leadership after the discovery of 751 potential unmarked graves at the site of the former Marieval Indian Residential School at Cowessess. That experience was cited multiple times in the news release announcing Delorme’s appointment.
Stephanie Scott, executive director of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, was quoted as saying Delorme played a “central role” in focusing global attention on the presence of unmarked graves at former residential school sites. “We welcome Chief Delorme’s leadership in this new role,” she said.
Miller said Delorme’s “extensive leadership and management experience” will be an asset to the committee’s mandate.
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Canada disclosed more than four million documents to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Under the terms of the federal government’s residential schools settlement agreement, which formally recognized 139 residential schools across Canada, all parties agreed to collect historical documents related to the schools and house them with the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation.
Crown−Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada said it is currently identifying the number and nature of any documents not previously shared. The review is expected to be completed this spring.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alexander Quon, Reporter
Alexander Quon is a reporter with CBC Saskatchewan based in Regina. After working in Atlantic Canada for four years he’s happy to be back in his home province. He has previously worked with the CBC News investigative unit in Nova Scotia and Global News in Halifax. Alexander specializes in data-reporting, COVID-19 and municipal political coverage. He can be reached at: Alexander.Quon@cbc.ca.