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What are the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action? Why is it Important?

Updated: Sep 15



The residential school assimilation mandate has had a profoundly devastating affect on the Indigenous Peoples of Canada. All areas of life including social, language, culture, health, mental, physical, and general well being have been negatively impacted.


All Indigenous Peoples of Canada today have been "touched" by the residential school system in some form or another. Grandmothers, Grandfathers, Mothers, Fathers, Brothers, Sisters, Nieces, Nephews and Cousins have all experienced the ill effects of this colonial mandate.


The social and physical self (of survivors) have been dismantled block by block by the residential school system leaving survivors and their families trying to pick up the pieces. The powerful community bonds held together between families and members (which have strong been held together by belief, pride, culture, language and traditions prior to the residential school system) have all been ripped apart by the Federal governments assimilation protocol.

To help mitigate the negative impact that the residential school system has had on the Indigenous population, the Federal Government created the truth and reconciliation commission. The goal of the truth and reconciliation commission is to firstly, recognize the atrocities brought on by the residential school system and secondly, reconcile the injustices and help repair the damage.


The truth and reconciliation calls to action are the result of the TRC's (truth and reconciliation committee) final report detailing the impact that the residential school system has had on the Indigenous People of Canada. 6,000 interviews were conducted with residential school survivors which detailed their experiences in the residential school system.


The truth and reconciliation commission's final report outlined 94 calls to action to help repair the hurt and damage that has been done to the Indigenous Peoples of Canada through the residential school system.


The report prioritized key ares for reconciliation in the following areas:

  • Culture

  • Education

  • Child welfare

  • Health (physical and mental)

  • Justice

  • Language

The intention with the calls to action are to make amends and help take positive steps towards healing. Time will only tell if the recommendations (in the calls to action) are brought to fruition or perhaps, forgotten and shelved like so many other reports before it.

Here is the transcription of the video:


(Ojibwe) Aanii, boozoo. Kerry Ann Charles nindizhinikaaz Georgina Island nindoonjibaa Maa'iingan nindoodem


(English translation) Hello, welcome. My name is Kerry Ann Charles and I am from Georgina Island and I am wolf clan.


Hi, my name is Kerry Ann. I am from the Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation and I am the Environment Partnership Coordinator for Cambium Indigenous Professional Services, also known as CIPS.


(Question) Thank you for joining us today Kerry Ann. I wanted to ask you a question about the truth and reconciliation call to action. What is it? And why is it so important?


(Answer) The truth and reconciliation calls to action stems from our history (with Canada and the Crown) that are affecting our (Indigenous) future. It is about an event that (we) call

Canada's "dirty little secret" in regards to "getting rid of the Indian" problem.


Part of that (strategy) was to target Indigenous children and to take them away from their families, their culture and traditions in order to "colonize" and assimilate (the children) into the European (white) society.


The truth and reconciliation calls to action (and it's goals) are to explain to Canadians (and the rest of the world) about these events (in the past) that have happened.


Chi miigwetch Kerry Ann.

Related articles: 5 Steps to Meaningful Indigenous Engagement


Why is Indigenous Awareness Training Important?


Doing Business with First Nations: A Beginners Guide

Debunking Myths About Indigenous Peoples in Canada

For more articles from Kerry Ann, please see her page at: Kerry Ann Charles CIPS


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