Reconciliation is an important part of the process of decolonization. Reconciliation requires that Indigenous people tell their stories and that they are heard. It requires a shared understanding of our common past and a shared vision of the future.
An important step on the road to reconciliation was the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC), created in 2007 as part of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement.
The TRC was inspired by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa.
What you can do
People ask, “What can be done?” or “What can I do?” or they are uncertain or uncomfortable about getting involved. It can feel daunting, and both responses are normal. The fact that you have taken the time to finish all of the sections in this guide has made a difference already, and if you can share what you learned with those around you, then you will make a difference. As we saw, many stereotypes and problems occur when people do not know the truth or even any information about Indigenous Peoples. Increasing awareness is very important.
- Read the “Calls to Action.”
- Visit a Friendship Centre.
- Read books by Indigenous authors.
- Take a course or workshop on Indigenous Peoples history and culture.
- Form a group within your work team to talk about Indigenous issues.
- Participate in events such as the Walk for Reconciliation and National Indigenous Day activities.
It is important to note that Indigenous Peoples need allies and not people to tell them what to do, or to direct and benefit from Indigenous issues and challenges. We need to work together and support each other to make a place where all people are valued and included. Reconciliation is a very personal journey and one in which all Canadians must play a part.