Change and reconciliation between indigenous and non-indigenous Canadians will not come easy, but the country should not feel daunted by the task, says the Truth and Reconciliation Commission on the Indian residential schools system chair. “Achieving reconciliation is like climbing a mountain—we must proceed a step at a time. It will not always be easy. There will be storms, there will be obstacles, but we cannot allow ourselves to be daunted by the task because our goal is Just and and it’s also necessary,” said Justice Murray Sinclair in his public remarks at an event to release the commission’s final report. “We owe it to each other to build a Canada based on our shared future, a future of healing and trust.” After six years speaking to 6,750 survivors, visiting more than 300 communities across the country, and collecting more than one million pieces of information, documents and artifacts from the more than 100 years of history of forcefully removing 150,000 First Nations, Métis and Inuit children from their families, the commission released a 4,000 page final report made up of six volumes. The commission, made up of Justice Sinclair, Chief Wilton Littlechild and Marie Wilson, wrote that although the residential schools were eventually closed, the legacy of them remain today. “It is reflected in the significant educational, income, and health disparities between aboriginal peoples and other Canadians—disparities that condemn many aboriginal peoples to shorter, poorer and more troubled lives,” the final report says. “This legacy is also reflected in the intense racism some people harbour against aboriginal peoples and the systemic and other forms of discrimination aboriginal peoples regularly experience in Canada. Over a century of cultural genocide has left most aboriginal languages on the verge of extinction. The disproportionate apprehension of aboriginal children by child welfare agencies and the disproportionate imprisonment and victimization of aboriginal peoples are all part of the legacy of the way that aboriginal children were treated in residential schools.” Further, the report says, beliefs and attitudes used to justify the residential school system are not only historical but permeate today in policies toward indigenous Canadians. “Reconciliation will require more than pious words about the shortcomings of those who preceded us. It obliges us to both recognize the ways in which the legacy of residential schools continues to disfigure Canadian life and to abandon policies and approaches that currently serve to extend that hurtful legacy,” the report says. NDP MP Romeo Saganash (Abitibi-Baie James-Nunavik-Eeyou, Que.) agreed, saying that the schools have a left a legacy of abuse which is “a Canadian tragedy that has spanned many generations.” Mr. Saganash said in a statement that the “vital first step” is to implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which the previous Conservative government called simply an “aspirational” document. “All of us must begin taking immediate action in areas like education, child welfare and health services so that the we remedy past mistakes made by the government of Canada. I invite all Canadians to read the report and then join together to create a better future based on our agreements to share this land,” he said. When the executive summary was released in June, the commission made 94 recommendations on how to move forward on reconciliation. The Liberal Party campaigned on implementing them all. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (Papineau, Que.) received the final report and said that “this is a time of real and positive change.” He noted that there needs to be a complete renewal of the Canada-Indigenous peoples relationship. “Moving forward, one of our goals is to help lift this burden from your shoulders, from those of your families, and from your communities. It is to accept fully our responsibilities—and our failings—as a government and as a nation,” he said. Mr. Trudeau said the Liberal government will work with the indigenous population in Canada to “fully implement” the calls to action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, including the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. “The Indian residential school system, one of the darkest chapters in Canadian history, has had a profoundly lasting and damaging impact on indigenous culture, heritage, and language. As a father and a former teacher, I am overwhelmingly moved by these events,” he said. “We recognize that true reconciliation goes beyond the scope of the commission's recommendations. … The government of Canada is committed to walking a path of partnership and friendship with Indigenous peoples. Today's Final Report marks a true milestone on that journey.” Conservative MP Cathy McLeod (Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo, B.C.), her party’s indigenous affairs critic, said that the Liberals were playing politics with their commitment to accepting the TRC’s recommendations. “In their calls to action to redress the legacy of residential schools, and advance the process of Canadian reconciliation, the commission made many positive recommendations. However, in its zeal to try and play politics during the recent election, the Liberal Party was irresponsible in its response by unilaterally accepting all 94 recommendations with no detailed impact analysis or comprehensive costing,” Ms. McLeod said. “The Liberal government has made the UN declaration an immediate priority. … While the courts have been clear that First Nations have a right to be consulted on major development projects, it is important that the federal government must maintain final authority for those projects which are in Canada’s national interest. Will the Liberal Party be clear with Canadians on that point?” Justice Sinclair noted, however, that he remained hopeful for the future. “It is my hope that the TRC’s calls to action will help bring about a new era for Canada—for Indigenous and non-Indigenous alike,” he said. “I stand before you hopeful that we are at the threshold of a new era—a point of fundamental change in Canada’s story, a period of change that, if sustained by the will of the people, will forever realign the shared history of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Canada. Change of course, will not be immediate. It will take generations, so it is important that Canadians call on the federal government create tools of reconciliation that will live beyond today.” On the agenda (all times local) Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will participate in a town hall discussion, moderated by Maclean’s magazine’s Paul Wells. Mr. Trudeau will answer questions in front of a live audience at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. Chatelaine’s Rachel Giese and L’actualité’s Alec Castonguay will ask questions along with Canadians from across the country through social media and from the audience. The town hall takes place from 2 to 3 p.m. Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi and Waterfront Toronto board of directors chair Mark Wilson, president and CEO John Campbell and incoming president Will Fleissig will hold a photo opportunity. Mr. Sohi will later meet with Toronto mayor John Tory. The event takes place at 10:45 a.m. at Canada’s Sugar Beach, 25 Dockside Dr., Toronto. Ottawa mayor Jim Watson will meet with the Ottawa caucus of the Liberal Party at City Hall. There will be a photo opportunity at 11:10 a.m. followed by a media availability. Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale and CSC Commissioner Don Head will officially open the CSC Training Academy in Regina, Sask., at 8:40 a.m. Governor General David Johnston and Sharon Johnston will participate in a Christmas baking session at the Parkdale Food Centre at 11 a.m. in Ottawa. They will then serve food at noon and then tour the centre.