The Truth of It All

Reconciliation, a term imbued with deep personal and collective significance, signifies a mutual journey that varies in meaning among different groups but is universally understood as an essential process for healing. At its heart lies the shared responsibility, a two-way street that requires both Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples to actively engage in addressing Canada’s troubling history of colonialism and systemic oppression. This shared responsibility makes each individual an integral part of the reconciliation process.

In 2015, the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation released the “Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action Report.” This seminal document aimed to redress the legacy of residential schools and advance the process of Canadian reconciliation. The 94 Calls to Action outlined in the report serve as a vital roadmap, urging the dismantling of unjust policies, and creating new ones that honour and respect Indigenous rights. Significantly, these calls extend beyond governmental duties, encouraging non-Indigenous Canadians to embrace their steps toward reconciliation. The transformative power of these calls inspires hope for a future where reconciliation is a reality.

One of the Seven Sacred Teachings, the teaching of Truth, highlights the necessity of living with integrity, honesty, and authenticity. This universal principle transcends professions and societal roles, compelling individuals to align their actions with their deepest values. It promotes transparency and sincerity, advocating for ‘doing no harm’ and striving to correct wrongs. The Sacred Teaching of Truth challenges communities and nations to confront historical inaccuracies and injustices, supporting a collective journey toward reconciliation and understanding. It calls for a commitment to truthful dialogue, where diverse voices are heard and validated, creating an environment where healing can occur, and trust can be rebuilt.

Understanding reconciliation also involves confronting the harsh realities of Canada’s legacy of colonialism—the Truth—and the profound impact that oppression, trauma, and tragedy have had on Indigenous peoples. However, it is equally crucial to recognize and celebrate Indigenous excellence, resilience, and the diverse strengths and gifts that Indigenous peoples contribute. By honouring the painful past and the vibrant present, we pave the way for a more inclusive and understanding future.

As we move forward, let us remember that this journey does not belong to a single generation but to all of us, and to all generations to come. We are not rewriting history; we are uncovering the truth and taking the brave steps to heal it.

Reconciliation is not merely a historical consideration but an ongoing process that requires continuous effort and commitment. Through informed actions and collective responsibility, we can forge a path that leads to genuine reconciliation, benefiting all Canadians and creating a society where every being can thrive in harmony and peace.

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