Things to know when selecting your Truth and Reconciliation calls to action trainer

It has been over three years (June 2, 2015) now since the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) of Canada released its summary report and 94 calls to action for reconciliation. Testimony gathered during a six-year period from over 7,000 survivors of the residential school system, forms the basis of the report.The calls to action (CTAs) targeted key institutionsincluding child welfare, health, justice, education, and business.

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What reconciliation is and what it is not

For a very long time, mainstream Canadians were unaware of the horrors and conditions that 150,000 Indigenous children endured in the Indian residential schools over a period of more than 100 years. For many Canadians, the first inkling of the atrocities the children suffered was when then Prime Minister Stephen Harper delivered the Statement of Apology on behalf of Canadians for the Indian residential school system in 2008.

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The Indian Act and Bestseller in the same sentence

I want to reflect on how the social and political landscape of Canada is changing. It may not be as fast as some of us would like, or as all-encompassing, but it is happening.

I’m convinced partially because I am an Indigenous relations trainer and my training calendar is increasingly at capacity. The increase in demand for information about Indigenous Peoples started to pick up about five years ago and has increased sharply in the last 12 months. The people taking our courses are from all walks of life. Some take the training for personal growth, as a pledge to reconciliation, while others are there because their corporate leaders or department heads want the team to have Indigenous relations training.

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Shoebox Campaign is an opportunity to connect with Indigenous students

Sometimes it’s the simplest gestures that have the greatest impacts. The Shoebox Campaign is one such example. If you are unfamiliar with the campaign, it’s a very simple concept. Fill a shoe box with age and gender appropriate gifts, write a note to the student to let them know you care and encourage them to continue in school, include five dollars for shipping, and drop off at a collection point. Or, you can order pre-filled shoeboxes online. It’s that easy. And so effective. Schools in the program see an immediate drop in absenteeism and an increase in enrollment.

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Indigenous issues articles: Is it time for specific headlines?

“Although daily newspapers have covered Indigenous issues extensively, news organizations are being called upon to reach a higher standard. As Truth and Reconciliation Commissioner Marie Wilson put it when she spoke to Ryerson’s School of Journalism, “Journalists must embrace their role as educators when reporting on Indigenous issues and recognize how their work shapes perceptions.” [1]


For many Canadians their sole source of information about Indigenous Peoples is via articles in print or online. Given that readers increasingly scan the headline before sharing on social media or moving onto another article, there has never been a greater need for specificity in headlines.

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Some Indigenous Protocol Examples

Updated: January, 2017

We are at an interesting juncture in Canada in terms of Indigenous relations. On the one hand there is an awakening and awareness on the part of mainstream Canadians, the media, and governments that is contributing to a landscape of reconciliation. This awareness and awakening is causing many to accept and reconcile, rather than hide from, uncomfortable truths about the history of Canada and how Indigenous Peoples have been treated. It is also generating calls by Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians for the removal of tributes to historical figures who were particularly ruthless in their treatment of Indigenous Peoples. On the other hand, there are some Canadians who struggle to make a name for themselves by clinging to and broadcasting their colonial ideals and beliefs. I don’t want to give any airtime to the latter - they simply don’t warrant any attention.

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Indigenous Peoples Reconciliation and Canada150

June is National Aboriginal History Month, and this year, the day after National Aboriginal History Month ends activities for Canada150 begin. Massive celebrations are planned across the country, as was the case for the centenary. This article will point out some issues that some Indigenous People might have with Canada150. We also would like to acknowledge that many Indigenous Peoples, such as Indigenous actor Adam Beach, who is an ambassador for the celebrations, are supportive of Canada150.

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What You Need To Know About Indigenous Language Revitalization

Guest contributors:

Amanda Pereira & Jillian Morgan, wintranslation

 

Indigenous languages are struggling to survive. With the number of Indigenous language speakers on the decline, some of these languages are on the verge of completely disappearing. Many of Canada’s Indigenous languages, such as Oneida, Cayuga, and Seneca, are estimated to have less than one hundred speakers. But, due to an increasing awareness of Indigenous people and the importance of their culture and language in Canada, Indigenous language revitalization efforts are being made to keep these languages alive.

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Was There an Upside to Residential Schools


"I speak partly for the record, but mostly in memory of the kindly and well-intentioned men and women and their descendants — perhaps some of us here in this chamber — whose remarkable works, good deeds and historical tales in the residential schools go unacknowledged for the most part,"


"The fathers and sons and family members of the nuns and priests, to this day, have to bear the reputation as well, and nobody meant to hurt anybody," she said. "The little smiles in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission are real, the clothes are clean and the meals are good. There were many people who came from residential schools with good training and good language skills, and, of course, there were the atrocities as well…….I was disappointed in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's report in that it didn't focus on the good. The people I talk to are Christians." Senator Lynn Beyak, a member of the Senate Aboriginal Peoples Committee, March 8, 2017

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Reflections in 2017 on the 1967 Centennial Speech of Chief Dan George

As Canadians from coast to coast to coast prepare to mark Canada’s 150th birthday on July 1, 2017 I wanted to revisit and reflect on the late Chief Dan George’s speech “Lament for Confederation” made on the occasion of Canada’s 100th birthday. I thought it would make a good measuring stick to see how things have changed for Indigenous Peoples in Canada.

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