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My New Hero

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It's the slightly dishevelled-looking Dr. John Milloy, the professor tasked with creating an archive of residential school history for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

He gave a bushwacker of an interview to the Trent student newspaper in which he was brutally candid about the challenges of figuring out how many kids were in the schools, what happened to them, where they're buried. He also took the churches to task for hoarding incriminating documents.

Problem is, his words (some which started with F) damaged delicate relations with the churches, and Justice Murray Sinclair has been forced to apologize on behalf of the TRC.

But that kind of bluntness is so refreshing in these days of euphemisms and poll-tested messaging. And, I learned more from Milloy about the challenges of dealing with the hazy history of the residential schools than from any other thing I've read.

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About Mary Agnes Welch

Mary Agnes Welch joined the Free Press in 2002, first as a general assignment reporter and then covering city hall and the Manitoba legislature before moving to her current post as public policy reporter.

Before Winnipeg, she worked at the Windsor Star and the Odessa American, a small daily newspaper in West Texas. There, in addition to covering more than 20 counties, she took high school football scores from coaches all over West Texas by phone every Friday night.

Mary Agnes is a graduate of Columbia University’s journalism school, has won several Western Ontario Newspaper Awards and has been part of two teams of reporters nominated for a Michener Award. In 2011, she was nominated for a National Newspaper Award in the beat category. She is also the former national president of the Canadian Association of Journalists.

She once misspelled "Shih Tzu" in the paper and received 37 emails from angry dog-owners.

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