Williams Lake, British Columbia, 1956

 Credit: Canada. Dept. of Indian Affairs and Northern Development / Library and Archives Canada / PA-207641.

Native Residential School in Kamloops. New classroom building. Kamloops, British Columbia, ca. 1950.


Decrease font size - | Increase font size +

Program at a Glance
Wednesday, September 18

Download a copy of the program for the BC National Event. (coming soon)

Please note that the schedule below is tentative and subject to change.
All activities take place at the Pacific National Exhibition unless otherwise indicated.


6:30-8am Lighting of the Sacred Fire and Sunrise Ceremony  Sacred Fire Site
8-8:30am Survivors' Walk From Sacred Fire to Coliseum
9-10:30am Welcome to the Territory and Opening Ceremonies Coliseum
11-Noon How to Share your Truth  Forum - Sharing Circle Area
11-Noon Inspirit Panel - Be the Change: Young People Healing the Past & Building the Future Coliseum
Noon-4pm Academic Day (details to come) Forum - Program Area
1-3pm Commissioners Sharing Panel Forum - Panel Area
1-2pm How to Share your Truth  Forum - Sharing Circle Area
1-3pm Creating and Sharing Digital Stories Forum - Program Area
1-3pm Survivors in Solidarity Coliseum
3-4pm Expressions of Reconciliation Forum - Panel Area
3-4pm From the Heart Forum - Program Area
4-5pm Call to Gather: Honorary Witness Ceremony and Reflections Coliseum

7am-5pm Survivor registration Registration tent
9am-6pm Private Statement Gathering Rollerland
9am-5pm Learning Place Agrodome
9am-5pm Churches Listening Area Agrodome
9am-5pm Displays and Artisans Agrodome


Survivors' Walk

Join a procession of Survivors, their families and community members, and other groups and supporters for a historic procession on the PNE grounds from the Sacred Fire to the Coliseum.
Begins: 8am
Location: Coliseum

Welcome to the Territory and Opening Ceremonies

Join First Nations leaders and other representatives who will welcome Survivors and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada to Vancouver for the British Columbia National Event.
Begins: 9am
Location: Coliseum


How to Share Your Truth Information Session

Your statement is very important and can help Canadians understand the legacy of Residential Schools. Those who lived, attended and worked at the schools are given a voice through the statement gathering process. This workshop will provide information on how you can share your experience. The three statement-gathering options will be discussed: private statement-gathering; sharing circles; and Commissioners’ sharing panels. The role of Health Supports will also be discussed.
Begins: 11am to Noon, and 1pm to 2pm
Location: Forum — Circle Area


Inspirit Panel - Be the Change - Young People Healing the Past and Building the Future

Join this cross-cultural dialogue among young panelists who are facing the intergenerational impacts of human rights violations such as the residential schools, Holocaust, Japanese internment and Chinese head tax – and turning reconciliation into action. Co-hosted by the Inspirit Foundation and the TRC.
Begins: 11am
Location: Coliseum


Commissioners Sharing Panel

Commissioners Sharing Panels provide an opportunity for Survivors, Intergenerational Survivors, former teachers, those who worked in the schools, or anyone who wants to speak publicly about the affect of the schools on their lives to share their truth directly with the Commissioners of the Truth and Reconcilication Commission of Canada.

* Registration: begins September 17 at the Registration Tent
* Members of the public and the media may witness.

Begins: 1pm
Location: Forum - Panel Area


Survivors in Solidarity

Special presentation by Rwandan Genocide Survivor Éloge Butera and Holocaust Survivor Robbie Waisman. Éloge Butera survived the genocide against Tutsis in Rwanda. Robbie Waisman survived the Nazi holocaust. Both are TRC Honorary Witnesses. In this special presentation, two remarkable human rights activists discuss their shared, deeply personal commitment to reconciliation.
Begins: 1pm
Location: Coliseum
Call to Gather

Come together for a summary of the day’s activities, Expressions of Reconciliation, and any announcements about activities to come.
The day’s Honorary Witnesses will reflect on their experiences.
Begins: 4pm
Location: Coliseum

Churches Listening Area

This is a supportive place where Survivors and their family members can share their experience with church representatives (Anglican, Presbyterian, Catholic and United Church) and receive a personal apology.
Sept. 18-21 from 9am to 5pm
Location: Agrodome