National Capital History Day is proud to announce this year’s keynote speaker — Ry Moran is the first Director of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR) at the University of Manitoba.
Moran, a member of the Métis Nation, has been very involved in our country’s history on behalf of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, for which he facilitated the collection of nearly 7,000 video- and audio-recorded statements of former residential school students and others affected by the residential school system.
As part of this initiative, Moran gathered documentary history of the residential school system from more than 20 government departments and nearly 100 church archives — millions of records in all.
“For the past six years, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission travelled the country gathering statements and documents from survivors, inter-generational survivors, and government and church archives,” Moran wrote in the Globe and Mail this past summer. “I was one of those people out there in the field with the commission. As the director of statement-gathering, I heard the pain of survivors. I saw the elders cry. What we heard was shocking.”
His efforts for the Commission had a profound impact on his own life.
“The statements that we have gathered have changed me forever — no question about it — and they’ve changed the country as so they should, that is what they were intended to do,” he told the CBC. “That oral history is so critically important to balance the documented history.”
Moran is also an accomplished musician and has hosted internationally broadcast live television programs, produced national cultural events and written and produced original music for children’s television. Moran has received a National Aboriginal Role Model Award and a Canadian Aboriginal Music Award. (You can hear his music on this page from the CBC.)
Moran will be speaking at National Capital History Day on the theme of this year’s competition: Exploration, Encounter and Exchange in History.