In recognition of Indigenous History month, we are grappling with our role and responsibility to confront ongoing practices of colonization that continue to shape our world, work, language, and the lives of Indigenous peoples.
The recent findings from Kamloops Residential school are a grim reminder of what residential school survivors have been saying for decades and was confirmed in the 2015 report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). To quote from the report: “Ultimately, the Commission’s focus on truth determination was intended to lay the foundation for the important question of reconciliation. Now that we know about residential schools and their legacy, what do we do about it?”
The Yellowhead Institute reported in December of 2020 that only 8 of the 94 TRC calls to action to redress the legacy of residential schools have been implemented to date. Read the report here. This is a history we must all confront as we work to dismantle the structures of racism and colonialism in building toward justice, and reconciliation.
As settlers, we recognize our privilege of being able to live and work on this land is owed to both the stewardship and the trauma of Indigenous peoples. We have much to learn from Indigenous strengths, struggles, and stories as we pursue the hard collective work of implementing the TRC Calls to Action through our engagements across sectors.
As we seek to learn and live by the example of Indigenous wisdom and leadership, we also celebrate Indigenous History month. We have been tuning into CBC Podcast: Telling our Twisted Histories. Told from an Indigenous perspective, this podcast decolonizes terms such as discovery and school by sharing history and stories from more than 70 people from 15 First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities. To hear stories from survivors of Kamloops Residential School tune in to CBC’s Front Burner podcast titled: Stories from the Kamloops Indian Residential School.