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My challenge is for you to read the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action and to share one of the calls that has significance for you. Whether you’ve read them before or not, take the time to read them now and think about how you can affect change in your own life to make this country stronger.
About This Challenge
In June of 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) released its final report detailing the history and ongoing legacy of the Indian Residential School system in Canada that operated until 1996. The TRC’s final report shares over 6,000 Survivor and witness accounts of the system; it outlines the history of the system, its ongoing impacts on Indigenous Peoples today, and it calls attention to the challenge of Reconciliation in Canada moving forward.
One major aspect of the TRC’s final report is the “94 Calls to Action.” The 94 Calls to Action were laid out by the Commission in the Final Report and were meant to show the beginning of a roadmap to Reconciliation for Canada to follow. The 94 Calls to Action cover a variety of aspects of life in Canada - including business, education, health, youth, women, justice and more. Everyone in Canada can take action in some way to further the aims of the TRC. By reading, understanding, and responding to these 94 Calls to Action, Canada will move closer towards Reconciliation. Without addressing the fundamental and systemic issues identified in this report, we will never be able to find the Reconciliation we need to heal as a country.
Reading the calls to action is a small step; it’s a step that we believe everyone can and should take. If you’ve read them before, read them again; Reconciliation is not a spectator sport - to make real change, we need everyone’s participation and everyone’s willingness to grow.
“Residential schools are a tragic part of Canada’s history. But they cannot simply
be consigned to history.” - Honouring the Truth, Reconciling for the Future (TRC Final Report)
The last Residential School closed in Canada in 1996. The TRC released its Final Report in 2015. It’s 2018 now and, if you’re not Indigenous, maybe these events feel irrelevant to you, or maybe they simply feel like events that are important to the country overall, but don’t really have anything to do with you personally, but in truth, everyone in Canada has benefited from or been hurt by the Indian Residential School system. It is part of the larger systems of oppression that have existed on this continent since Contact. If you are Indigenous, maybe you feel unable or unqualified to take action on behalf of your Communities, or maybe you feel that there’s nothing you can do that will make a difference to the country overall. While there’s nothing we can do to undo the hurt and the crimes that have been committed against Indigenous Peoples and individuals in service of this system, we can work to find ways to walk together towards Reconciliation and healing now.
Everyone in Canada has a responsibility to read, understand, and take up the TRC’s 94 Calls to Action - only by taking these Calls seriously and finding ways to act on them can we move towards Reconciliation in a meaningful way. While many of the Calls to Action specifically call upon groups, governments or organizations to act, there are so many ways that we as individuals, employees, students, parents, business owners or activists to make change within our own lives and communities. Through small but courageous acts, we can bridge divides and bring our communities together with a common focus.
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Truth and Reconciliation Commission Reports
- TRC's 94 Calls to Action
- Final Report of the TRC (all Volumes PDFs)
- Final Report of the TRC (all Volumes PDFs in French)
- TRC Final Report Released - CBC
Reading the Report
- The TRC Reading Challenge
- #ReadTheTRCReport (Playlist of TRC Report Summary read on video) - Zoe Todd
- Reaction to the TRC: Not all opinions are equal or valid - âpihtawikosisân
Since the Final Report
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Senator Murray Sinclair, or Mizanay (Mizhana) Gheezhik, meaning “The One Who Speaks of Pictures in the Sky," of Peguis First Nation, served as the Chief Commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada and as Co-Commissioner of the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry in Manitoba. Before becoming a Senator, Senator Sinclair served the justice system in Manitoba for over 25 years. He was the first Indigenous judge appointed in Manitoba and the second in Canada. Senator Sinclair also served as an adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Manitoba and has received Honorary Doctorates from 8 Canadian universities.
"My challenge to you is to read the #94CallsToAction of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report and pick one that you can work on, that you understand, and that you support - and make it happen. This is not a spectator sport. We need you, to be able to bring reconciliation to a reality in this country."Read More