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Working Effectively with Indigenous Peoples™

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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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Topics: Reconciliation, Indigenous Awareness

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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Topics: Reconciliation

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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Topics: Famous Aboriginal People, Aboriginal History, Reconciliation

Reconciliation and Indigenous Libraries in Schools

 


Education for reconciliation

  1. We call upon the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada to maintain an annual commitment to Aboriginal education issues, including:
  2. Developing and implementing Kindergarten to Grade Twelve curriculum and learning resources on Aboriginal peoples in Canadian history, and the history and legacy of residential schools. [1]

In late 2016 a newspaper article about a Nanaimo school that was building an Indigenous-authored collection of books for the school library caught our eye. The school had a small nucleus of books but wanted to build up their collection with titles that would appeal to all reading levels and that accurately depicted Indigenous history, Canadian history, Indigenous culture. The school, John Barsby Secondary, went a step further and commissioned Snuneymuxw carver Noel Brown to build a bookcase to house the books.

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Topics: Reconciliation, Indigenous Awareness

Why should you learn to pronounce Indigenous names

 

It’s becoming more commonplace for formal meetings to begin with an acknowledgement of the traditional or treaty territory on which the meeting is being held. It’s good to see this really positive development on the increase because by doing so signals that you recognize that community’s deep, historical and constitutionally protected connection to the territory.

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Topics: Reconciliation, Indigenous relations

Indigenous cultural competency in virtual platform

 

Thanks to the Truth and Reconciliation Commissions calls to action; and specifically section #92 which states: 

       92. Business and Reconciliation

We call upon the corporate sector in Canada to….

iii. Provide education for management and staff on the history of Aboriginal peoples, including the history and legacy of residential schools, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Treaties and Aboriginal rights, Indigenous law, and Aboriginal–Crown relations. This will require skills based training in intercultural competency, conflict resolution, human rights, and anti-racism.

I’ve noticed a big influx of people looking for training to support their efforts at reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples. This push of course comes with challenges and the ones we’ve heard about include "not having money for travel to take training" and "which trainer to choose" as everyone is a trainer these days.

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Topics: Reconciliation, Indigenous Awareness

Forestry and reconciliation: focus on BC

 Since the Truth and Reconciliation Commission released its summary report containing 94 Calls- to-Action we have written a series of articles on what various organizations can do towards reconciliation. We have articles on what local governments, municipalities, dioceses and schools are implementing or could implement to reset their relationship with Indigenous people. In this article we visit the forestry and reconciliation. We provide an overview and then focus on British Columbia as BC is historically the biggest producer of forest products and its forestry/Indigenous relations have progressed since the infamous “War in the Woods” era.

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Topics: Aboriginal Relations, Reconciliation

Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission released its summary report and findings on June 2, 2015 after six years of hearings and testimony from more than 6,000 residential school survivors and their loved ones. The report includes 94 Calls-to-Action to be followed if Canada is to address the "cultural genocide" of Indigenous Peoples as enacted with the residential school policy and achieve true reconciliation. As is often stated, reconciliation is not an Indigenous problem, it's a Canadian problem and every Canadian needs to be aware of this very dark (but not distant history as the last school closed in 1996) period of history, understand that it has caused a intergenerational and ongoing impact and find ways and means to support reconciliation.

 

In the words of my father, Chief Robert Joseph "We start today. We start with every little step. If we start right now, and this moment is a moment of reconciliation for some of us, it's a huge, huge achievement."

 

We have here the *entire list of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls-to-Actions for reference for our readers.

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Topics: Reconciliation

Reconciliation and the BC Anglican Diocese

The Anglican Church has been working towards reconciliation for a long time and in BC, that work is being guided by Bishop Logan McMenamie, who is in turn, guided by Kwakwaka’wakw Elder Alex Nelson. Bishop McMenamie took the time to speak with us about the steps the church is taking towards reconciliation.

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Topics: Reconciliation

Indigenous Reconciliation and Municipalities Some Calls to Action

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) released its final report in December 2015 - a massive 3700 page tome resulting from the six year investigation by the TRC into the residential school system for Indigenous youth and the legacy of the system. Prior to the report, in June 2015, the TRC released 94 reconciliation recommendations, or calls-to-action (CTA), to address that legacy.

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Topics: Reconciliation