To the Commission, “reconciliation” is about establishing and maintaining a mutually respectful relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples in this country. In order for that to happen, there has to be awareness of the past, acknowledgement of the harm that has been inflicted, atonement for the causes, and action to change behaviour. We are not there yet. The relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples is not a mutually respectful one. But, we believe we can get there, and we believe we can maintain it. Our ambition is to show how we can do that... NTRC (National Truth and Reconciliation Commission)
We have a lot to celebrate about being Canadian.... this year we'll celebrating Canada every day as we look back and take stock at age 150.
But it was not all pretty. We have a lot of work to do around renewing and re-configuring Indigenous-state relations in Canada. If we do it well, 150 years from now we'll be celebrating how renewed Indigenous-state relationships became a model of peaceful co-existence between nations and regions.
No one knows what the future relationship will look like yet, but we do know that we have all been called to action to think about it. As individuals we have influence in our families, workplaces and communities. It's up to us to educate and empower ourselves and others to become reconciliation ready and reconciliation competent.
Click here to listen to Tracey Lindberg, Law Professor and author of Birdie, on CBC Ideas: Reconciliation before Reconciliation.
Informed Canadians can make a big difference in renewing relationships with First Nation, Metis and Inuit Peoples. In fact, non-Indigenous people -- settlers, allies, and newcomers -- can start to make a difference by thinking about it for just 4 hours over the next 4 weeks.
Check out the challenge below and I invite you to take it. And please fill out the form to the right to let me know that you accepted the challenge.
Week 1: Put dialogue on the menu
Sometime this week, share a meal with family or friends and share perspectives on the following questions. Take turns answering and remember there are no wrong answers...
Wine & Cheese:
Where, when and how did you learn about relationships between First Nations, Metis, and Inuit Peoples and the government of Canada?
Where, when and how have you had conversations with First Nations, Metis and Inuit Peoples?
The Main Course:
What puzzles you about this relationship?
What are your hopes for reconciliation and co-existence?
Coffee and Tea:
What do you want to find out about? How will you do that?
Week 2: Listen to podcasts
During week 2 of your challenge, listen to Darrell Dennis's excellent podcasts from CBC. There are more than 20 topics and I've picked 2 for this challenge. If you want more, check out his podcasts on OKA: 20 Years Later and The Military...
ReVision Quest looks at Truth and Reconciliation
That’s the premise, but can re-telling the story of our residential school past really bring solace? We’ll hear stories of survivors and engage in some provocative conversations about stealing children, abandoning parents, and trying to make it all alright again.
Download ReVision Quest looks at Truth and Reconciliation-PODCAST
[mp3 file: runs 00:27:29]
ReVision Quest looks at Reserves
If you focus on news reports, it’s easy to get the impression that reserves in this country are all parceled lands of poverty, inequity, and vice, run by incompetent, corrupt Aboriginals. Darrell Dennis knows the truth is a little more complicated than that.
Download ReVision Quest looks at Reserves-PODCAST
[mp3 file: runs 00:27:30]
Week 3: Read the Calls to Action
During week 3 of your challenge, click on the image to the right and review the TRC Calls to Action. It is only 11 pages but there are big implications.
What does reconciliation mean to you and the organizations and communities to which you belong? Click on the link below to read a short article I wrote about making my own commitment: Are you Being Called?
What and where are the Indigenous Friendship Centres, community services and gathering spaces in your area? What educational programs do they offer?
Here are some more proactive and informative websites for you to browse, take a little time to take a look around:
What we Have Learned: Principles of Truth and Reconciliation
Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada - TRC Pages
Kairos Blanket Exercise
Lynn Gehl's Research, Blog and Publications
Week 4: Commit to Reconciliation
It's week 4 of your challenge. Are you ready to make a commitment and become an ally and a treaty person?
First, visit Lynn Gehl's very instructive website and read her ALLY BILL OF RESPONSIBILITIES. Discuss it with friends and family or take an hour with yourself to capture your thoughts. Read a Declaration of Commitment to Action I helped craft for a provincial association here.
What have you discovered about your own relationship to First Nations, Metis, and Inuit Peoples?
What is one thing that you can do to make a commitment to reconciliation?
What is one thing that you can do to help others learn about reconciliation?
Look at the questions you answered in Week 1 of your challenge. How have your answers changed?
If you could make one wish for healthy co-existence, what would it be?