National Indigenous Peoples History Month is a time to acknowledge the history of Indigenous relations and Indigenous Peoples in Canada. Reconciliation, in part, means learning about the past in order to understand the present, and with that understanding, contribute to creating a better future for Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Canada.
On the dedication page for 21 Things You May Not Know About The Indian Act Helping Canadians Make Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples A Reality, I quote former Governor General Michaëlle Jean at the relaunch of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada:
When the present does not recognize the wrongs of the past, the future takes its revenge. For that reason, we must never, never turn away from the opportunity of confronting history together - the opportunity to right a historical wrong.”
Prior to 2015, when the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada published its final report and 94 calls to action, much of the history of the Crown-Indigenous relations was not taught in schools so simply was unknown to a vast percentage of the population. “I just didn’t know” is a common refrain when the topics of residential schools or the sixties scoop or the relocation of Inuit come up.