National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation receives $5M donation

A charitable organization in Winnipeg is donating $5 million to the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation towards building the NCTR a new home.

The new home will house thousands of records from survivors of residential schools.

“Thank god our stories are going to be safe and thank goodness there is going to be a place that is concrete where we know they will be stored – be it the building or be it in our hearts,” said survivor Laurie McDonald.

The collection of records has outgrown its home at the University of Manitoba.

NCTR executive director Stephanie Scott said the new building will be located on what is currently a golf course nearby. The land was donated by the university.

She said more money is needed, but construction will start on the new centre.

“Well I think you heard from survivors today that this gift is instrumental in moving forward to develop the construction of the brand new National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation,” she said. “We still have about $35 million more to raise and we’re really relying on all Canadians, all governments to participate in the development of that and finish construction while survivors are still here with us.”

‘Thank god our stories are going to be safe,’ says residential school survivor Laurie McDonald. Photo: Jared Delorme/APTN.

According to its website, the Winnipeg Foundation is “Canada’s first community foundation, established in 1921. In 2023, we received more than $46.6 million in gifts and distributed $85.6 million to the community.”

Sky Bridges, president and CEO of the foundation, said this is the largest donation ever made to an Indigenous led organization.

“It’s an investment in a better Canada, it’s an investment in a better community, it’s an investment in ensuring that the stories of the survivors are never forgotten and that we learn from them and that we can move forward in a good way,” he said.

The federal government is also putting $60 million towards the project.

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