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This article was published 25/10/2011 (2916 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
University of Manitoba president David Barnard will apologize Thursday for the university’s role in educating people who ran the residential schools system.
Barnard will deliver his statement of apology and reconciliation in Halifax to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. It is believed to be the first time that a Canadian university has apologized for having a role in the residential schools system.
"We want to add our voice to the apologies already made by churches and government," Barnard said this afternoon.
"We have educated the people who became clergy and teachers and politicians, and became involved in the system.
"This is an important thing for us to do as a university, and an appropriate place to do it," Barnard said.
He would not divulge the contents of his apology "out of respect for the process."
Barnard said he had consulted widely on campus among deans, senior administrators, the board of governors and the senate. He has also discussed the university’s plan with Manitoba aboriginal leaders.
It was "an institutional decision" that has required a lot of thought, Barnard said.
He said that the proposal for an apology by the university first came from the faculty of social work.
"It’s been discussed with a group of people who helped develop the statement," Barnard said. "We’ve been working on the statement, and where might be the best place to do it."
Barnard’s statement will be delivered at 11:30 a.m. Winnipeg time Thursday, and will be broadcast on screens set up on both the Fort Garry and Bannatyne campuses.
The Halifax hearings are the third of seven national events held by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which is chaired by Manitoba Justice Murray Sinclair.
Updated on Tuesday, October 25, 2011 at 9:23 PM CDT: Adds quotes and details.