Truth and Reconciliation: Call to Action 62
Content Warning: This blog post discusses sensitive topics including residential schools
In 2008, a group called the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was established, and their goal was to document stories from residential schools and learn from these atrocities. The TRC announced 94 calls to action in 2015, in which governments, business, courts and Canadian citizens can follow to work towards reconciliation, and ensure a better future for the generations of Indigenous peoples. So far, 19 calls to action have not been started, 31 calls to action have project proposals, and another 31 are underway in progress. In eight years, only 13 calls to action have been completed.
One call for action that I would like to highlight and that particularly interests me is Call to Action 62, which is Education for Reconciliation. This appeal still has a long way to completion. However, many efforts are being made to strive for the completion of this call to action.
For example, Alberta has a six-year plan to reconstruct the public-school curriculum with the inclusion of an Education for Reconciliation initiative. This initiative includes a comprehensive plan to educate teachers, provide funding for programs, and support a new curriculum. The four goals of this call to action are: 1) To make age appropriate curriculum on residential schools. 2) To provide necessary funding to educate teachers on how to integrate Indigenous knowledges in the classroom. 3) To provide funding to Indigenous schools to utilize Indigenous teaching methods in the classroom. 4) To establish senior level positions in the government dedicated to Indigenous education content.
This call to action personally inspires me because I remember having Indigenous leaders come to my elementary and high school and educate us about their culture, such as sacred dance performances. Receiving these educational privileges helped open my eyes to cultures that are far different from my own and specifically helped me gain insight into some of the Indigenous ceremonies that are practiced.
It is no secret that there is still a long way to go in terms of fulfilling all 94 calls to action, but by educating Canadians about the importance of reconciliation, we can build future generations of people who are well informed and willing to make a change. Alongside pushing for government reform, it requires full community engagement to make strides, and this is why the ITMP exists. We wish to aid Indigenous youth in our communities whilst centering Indigenous knowledges and ensuring culturally safe practices are enacted within education, through our tutoring program. From my end, writing blog posts for the ITMP website gives me an opportunity to celebrate and honor Indigenous peoples and implement decolonizing methodologies into my everyday life.
And finally, for a quick announcement, please anticipate the revamping of our ITMP website! We will soon be opening a new page dedicated to a child-friendly version of the 94 Calls to Action, so be sure to check that out once it is posted!
Author: Ginuki, ITMP Blog Writer
Photo Credits: Truth and Reconciliation Commission via Government of Canada