Over the past year, Pathways has been striving to gain a deeper understanding of our role in the national Truth and Reconciliation movement, which requires a solid grounding in what ‘Truth and Reconciliation’ means to us as individuals, as an agency, a city and a nation.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) resulted from the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement in order to begin the process of reconciliation in Canada. The TRC created platforms for Aboriginal people to speak out and share their experiences from residential schools. National Truth and Reconciliation events were held across the country along with regional events, local hearings and town halls. The TRC received 6,750 written statements from survivors of residential schools which demonstrated the horrors and hurt residential schools inflicted upon its students.
Mandated by the Government of Canada, the TRC created the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation in 2013 at the University of Manitoba. The Centre is the official home for all things related to the TRC.
In 2015, the TRC released its final report which contained 94 Calls to Action. The Calls to Action call upon all levels of governments to right their wrongs and for all Canadians to learn the truth about Canadian history.
In the spirit of reconciliation, former Prime Minister Harper issued an official apology to all former students of the residential school system in Canada in 2008. In March of 2016, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announces unqualified support for the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, fulfilling one of the Calls to Action by the TRC. Provincial leaders have also provided support to the work of the TRC, including Alberta Premier Rachel Notley who has expressed support for the work of the TRC.
The TRC requires the help of every Canadian to join together as one community to heal and reconcile the relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people. You can start making a difference today by simply joining in the challenge to read the TRC’s final report and its Calls to Action. After you read the report, encourage your friends and family to read it as well. Let’s join together as a community and begin the journey of healing.
Be sure to follow our blog for more posts in our Truth and Reconciliation series