Truth and Reconciliation: What can I do?

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was established after the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement as a means to facilitate recognition among former students, their families, their communities and all Canadians (Government of Canada, 2019). Over the course of 6 years, the TRC traveled across Canada to bear witness to the testimony of Indian Residential School survivors and published a final report that included 94 Calls to Action. Calls to Action 62- 65 seek education for reconciliation and call upon the federal, provincial, and territorial governments, in consultation and collaboration with Survivors, Aboriginal people and educators, to:

i. Make age appropriate curriculum on residential school, Treaties, and Aboriginal peoples’ historical and contemporary contributions to Canada a mandatory education requirement for K-12 student.

ii. Provide the necessary funding to post-secondary institutions to educate teachers on how to integrate Indigenous knowledge and teaching methods into classrooms.

iii. Provide the necessary funding to Aboriginal schools to utilize Indigenous knowledge and teaching methods in classrooms.

iv. Establish senior-level positions in government at the assistant deputy minister level or higher dedicated to Aboriginal content in education (Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, 2015).

So what can YOU do?

Knowledge is power.

Simply knowing about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission is powerful. Understanding why it exists is also essential. Do your students know about residential schools and their legacy in Canadian history?

Below are some resources on residential schools that you can use in the classroom to create awareness, spark discussion and inspire change:

Residential School Heritage Minute

We are the Children: Teacher kits, books and memoirs.

Indian Residential Schools and Reconciliation Resources from the First Nations Education Steering Committee.

How teachers can integrate Truth and Reconciliation in their classrooms, articles and resources from EdCan Network.

Secret Path Curriculum from First Nation Education Resources.

Speaking Our Truth: A Journey of Reconciliation by Monique Gray-Smith

Senator Murray Sinclair has created the #Next150Challenge – read the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action and to share one of the calls that has significance for you/your students. Each week a new challenge is launched and include detailed information on how to complete the challenge, length of activity and additional resources. For more information on the #Next150Challenge click here

 

Other topics and resources:

Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) 

Indigenous literature for teens:

Indigenous perspective resources:

Have something to share? Please tell us in the comments!

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