Today’s news from Cowessess First Nation weighs heavily on our hearts. Today is a stark reminder that the Residential School system is not Canadian history. It’s Canadian story unfolding. It’s Canadian truth unfolding. We are filled with sadness as we bear witness to this reality.
Many Indigenous lives were taken by a policy-driven genocide that stood to benefit the culturally dominant groups who informed those policies – and the descendants who came after.
If you haven’t yet figured out how you stand to benefit from this system, then there are plenty of resources available to support you in your effort towards knowing the truth and moving towards reconcili-action in Canada. Below are some resources to start these conversations where you live and work. This list isn’t exhaustive, but it’s a place to start.
Truth & Reconciliation Resources:
The information and material here may trigger unpleasant feelings or thoughts of past abuse. Please contact the 24 Hour Residential School Crisis Line at 1-866-925-4419 if you require emotional support.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada offers many resources, which many visit to access their final report and 94 Calls to Action, which is critically important; what many may not know is that they also have a long list of educational resources, for students, educators and the broader public: https://nctr.ca/education/
Reconciliation Canada has a host of multimedia resources and toolkits for individuals, communities and organizations: https://reconciliationcanada.ca/
The Office of the Treaty Commissioner offers tons of resources, including print books on a wide range of topics, a calendar of educational events, workshops and more. Visit http://www.otc.ca/resource.html
The Saskatchewan Indigenous Cultural Association has a wide variety of multimedia resources to support First Nations education, art, and cultures, as well as to broaden the cultural awareness of First Nations people: https://sicc.sk.ca/multimedia-centre/
The University of Alberta offers a free online course called Indigenous Canada, which explores key issues facing Indigenous peoples today from a historical and critical perspective highlighting national and local Indigenous-settler relations. Register here: https://www.ualberta.ca/admissions-programs/online-courses/indigenous-canada/index.html
The ebook Shattering the Silence: The Hidden History of Indian Residential Schools in Saskatchewan, developed by the University of Regina and Project of Heart Saskatchewan, aims to prepare teachers to learn about and teach about the legacy of residential schools and reconciliation: https://www2.uregina.ca/education/saskindianresidentialschools/
The Legacy of Hope Foundation: “Where are the children? Healing the legacy of the residential schools.” Visit http://legacyofhope.ca/wherearethechildren/
We also thought we’d share a few podcasts we follow:
- Ahkameyimok Podcast with National Chief Perry Bellegarde of the Assembly of First Nations: https://podcasts.apple.com/ca/podcast/ahkameyimok-podcast-with-national-chief-perry-bellegarde/id1507212458
- Paykiiwikay, the Metis culture podcast by Metis-Nation Saskatchewan and Canadian Geographic
- Reconcile. Everyday conversations by Mennonite Central Committee Canada: https://anchor.fm/reconcile-conversations
Organizations you could donate to support residential school survivors: https://www.macleans.ca/news/where-to-donate-to-support-survivors-of-residential-schools/