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Teaching for Truth and Reconciliation
"If the truth comes before the reconciliation, then Canadian teachers are at the forefront of this country’s future." – Dr. Kate Freeman, Shawn McDonald, and Dr. Lindsay Morcom in "Truth and Reconciliation in YOUR Classroom."
Educators have a crucial role to play in creating a more equitable Canada. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Calls to Action has a specific section reinforcing this idea, which they call "Education for Reconciliation." The document stresses the need for education on Indigenous peoples and issues, both historical and contemporary. Education on the topic of the Indian Residential School System (IRS) and its legacy is specifically highlighted, as well as treaty relationships. These issues can be difficult to navigate, especially for those with limited knowledge of Canada's colonial history (and colonial present) and its lasting effect on Indigenous Peoples. This guide is meant to be a starting point for those unsure of where to begin when it comes to integrating the Calls to Action in their teaching. All teachers have a responsibility to do this work.
We all go back to the land: the who, why, and how of land acknowledgements by Suzanne KeeptwoLand Acknowledgements often begin academic conferences, cultural events, government press gatherings, and even hockey games. They are supposed to be an act of Reconciliation between Indigenous peoples in Canada and non-Indigenous Canadians, but they have become so routine and formulaic that they have sometimes lost meaning. Seen more and more as empty words, some events have dropped Land Acknowledgements altogether. Métis artist and educator Suzanne Keeptwo wants to change that. She sees the Land Acknowledgement as an opportunity for Indigenous peoples in Canada to communicate a message to non-Indigenous Canadians—a message founded upon Age Old Wisdom about how to sustain the Land we all want to call home. This is an essential narrative for truth sharing and knowledge acquisition.