Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 17/6/2009 (4281 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The Moving Forward Together campaign announced this week is co-chaired by Winnipeg Archbishop James Weisgerber and Phil Fontaine, national chief of the Assembly of First Nations.
They aim to raise $25 million over the next five years to develop various educational and healing programs on reserves across the country.
The residential schools legacy left thousands of aboriginal families in tatters and has contributed to the high rates of addiction and family breakdown seen today.
According to the website, it is hoped the funds will provide the assistance needed for the survivors and their families to "get back on track" and achieve the educational levels needed to close the standard-of-living gap between aboriginals and the rest of Canada.
The campaign is separate from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which is a government-led initiative to get survivors to tell their stories and create a historical record of the residential schools era.
Residential schools were run by the churches for the federal government in a program designed to assimilate native children. More than 150,000 aboriginal children were forcibly taken from their families and enrolled in the schools between the late 1880s and the early 1980s. Students were punished for speaking their own language or practising cultural traditions and many students were physically and sexually abused.
In April, Pope Benedict XVI expressed sorrow for the Catholic Church's role in residential schools, including the abuses suffered by some of the students.
That event, which was made in person at the Vatican to Fontaine and a group of surviving former students, was made possible after Weisgerber himself asked the Pope if it could happen.