The Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children Restorative Inquiry Council of Parties has released its second public report identifying three central issues as the focus of the inquiry’s remaining work.
The inquiry will work with partners to address responses to institutionalized abuse, experiences of children and youth in care of the province, and the historic and ongoing impacts of systemic racism on African Nova Scotians.
The report released today, Jan. 12, outlines the central issues and the work undertaken since the first report was issued last year.
“Former residents have told us they want this inquiry to lead to positive changes for children in care today, so no child goes through what many of us experienced as children,” said Tony Smith, co-chair of the Restorative Inquiry council and a former resident of the home.
“As we focus on these central issues, we are examining and learning from the past so we can make a difference now and in the future, especially for African Nova Scotian children and families.”
The inquiry has three main phases: relationship building, learning and understanding, and planning and action. The report highlights work from the learning and understanding phase, including circles held with former residents, government and public agencies, and community members and organizations with connections to the home.
“We’re pleased with the way partners are engaging together in the work of the inquiry,” said council co-chair Pamela Williams, Chief Judge of the provincial and family courts. “One of the unique features of this process is we are investing time and energy in building relationships that will help us act together to begin to make changes during the mandate of the inquiry. This will also lay the groundwork for continuing action once the inquiry is over.”
Council continues to work with partners to develop deeper understanding on the central issues together. The planning and action phase of the inquiry is expected to be underway by the spring. To complete its work, the inquiry has requested to extend its mandate until March 2019. The inquiry’s overall budget of $5 million will remain the same.
The report is available online at http://restorativeinquiry.ca/media.