Urge the Canadian Government to Implement the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Recommendations
Today is the 7th anniversary of the Government of Canada's Residential Schools Apology. Seven years ago, Stephen Harper stood up in the House of Commons and said:
"Two primary objectives of the Residential Schools system were to remove and isolate children from the influence of their homes, families, traditions, and cultures, and to assimilate them into the dominant culture. These objectives were based on the assumption Aboriginal cultures and spiritual beliefs were inferior and unequal. Indeed, some sought, as it was infamously said, 'to kill the Indian in the child'. Today, we recognize that this policy of assimilation was wrong, has caused great harm, and has no place in our country….
The burden of this experience has been on your shoulders for far too long. The burden is properly ours as a Government, and as a country. There is no place in Canada for the attitudes that inspired the Indian Residential Schools system to ever prevail again. You have been working on recovering from this experience for a long time and in a very real sense, we are now joining you on this journey."
Those are good words. Those are important words. Now it's time to live them.
Last week, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) presented its final report, including 94 recommendations to honour the testimony of residential school survivors by reshaping the relationship between our peoples, recommendations that cover everything from reforming the Indigenous education system to teaching all Canadian students about residential schools in elementary and high school to establishing a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation to acknowledging that the current state of Indigenous health in Canada is tied to previous government policies.
Will you ask your Member of Parliament to commit to implementing the recommendations of the TRC report? You can find your MP's contact information here.
Here’s a sample script to get you started:
Dear (name of MP),
Seven years ago the Prime Minister stood up in the House of Commons and apologized for residential schools, saying: "There is no place in Canada for the attitudes that inspired the Indian Residential Schools system to ever prevail again. You have been working on recovering from this experience for a long time and in a very real sense, we are now joining you on this journey."
Now, through the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, we have been given a start at joining Indigenous peoples on this journey and living the good words of the Apology. I urge you to commit to work towards implementing the recommendations of the Commission.