Canada's State of Reconciliation

Kumar, Gayatri

Publisher:  Against the Current
Date Written:  01/01/2017
Year Published:  2017  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX21514

The brutal suppression of water protectors at Standing Rock, North Dakota and their ongoing resistance has also galvanized Canadian conversations about Indigenous land rights and environmental welfare.



In 2017, Canada will mark the 150th anniversary of confederation. As part of its sesquicentennial celebrations, the government is funding a few national initiatives on reconciliation with First Nations as signature projects. The 4Rs Youth Movement: Possible Canadas and Reconciliation in Action: A National Engagement Strategy are both Indigenous-led initiatives focused on creating cross-cultural dialogue.

The Toronto District School Board now requires all schools to start their day with a land acknowledgement, and the province of Ontario marked its first ever Treaties Week from November 6 to 12, to raise awareness of treaty obligations and offer teachers a recurring opportunity to plan lessons around the history and importance thereof.

On the surface, the Canadian government's reconciliation process seems to be making strides in the right direction. One of the aims of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was to make the horrors of the residential school system [which generations of Native children were forced to attend after being taken from their families - ed.] a matter of public record, and the conversation among the non-Indigenous population finally seems to be pivoting.
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