Reflecting on the damage and co-creating new truths about Canada

Together, we can… listen to each other, learn, and co-create new possibilities…

During the seventh National Event of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (27-30 March 2014, Edmonton, AB) (click here), I attended a panel session with several Indigenous academic speakers. One was a woman filmmaker (whose name I did not hear) who referred to a 6-minute, award-winning film, Savage, by Lisa Jackson. The speaker described that the film offers insight into the pain of the parents whose children were taken to residential schools and of the resilience of children, once in those institutions. I invite you to watch and listen here… As various film reviewers observe (here), this film caught my attention – just what we need… to be able to reflect on the damage done and to be able to dream new truths together on Turtle Island.

L. Dorion "Turtle Rock Effigy" (2010, Edmonton, North Saskatchewan River) - Photo: Sherry Ann (27 Mar. 2014)

L. Dorion “Turtle Rock Effigy” (2010, Edmonton, North Saskatchewan River) – Photo: Sherry Ann (27 Mar. 2014)

I invite you to read the following excerpts from the Interim Report (2012) of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (click here):

“Reconciliation implies relationship.
The residential schools badly damaged relationships within Aboriginal families and communities, between Aboriginal peoples and churches, between Aboriginal peoples and
the government, and between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples within Canadian society. The Commissioners believe these relationships can and must be repaired. The Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement is a positive step in this process since it formally recognized the need to come to terms with the past. The process of reconciliation will require the passionate commitment of individuals and the genuine engagement of society. There are people today who are living with the direct impacts of the schools: the survivors and their families.” (TRC, Interim Report, 2012, p. 26)

“Reconciliation also will require changes in the relationship between Aboriginal people and the government of Canada. The federal government, along with the provincial governments, historically has taken a social welfare approach to its dealings with Aboriginal people. This approach fails to recognize the unique legal status of Aboriginal peoples as the original peoples of this country. Without that recognition, we run the risk of continuing the assimilationist policies and the social harms that were integral to the residential schools.
     Finally, there is no reason for anyone who wants to contribute to the reconciliation process to wait until the publication of the Commission’s final reports. There is an opportunity now for Canadians to engage in this work, to make their own contributions to reconciliation, and to create new truths about our country.” (TRC, Interim Report, 2012, p. 27)

L. Dorion sign "Turtle Rock Effigy" (2010, Edmonton) - Photo: Sherry Ann (27 Mar. 2014)

L. Dorion sign “Turtle Rock Effigy” (2010, Edmonton) – Photo: Sherry Ann (27 Mar. 2014)

3 thoughts on “Reflecting on the damage and co-creating new truths about Canada

  1. Thank you for drawing that powerful video to my attention.
    Did you walk the Turtle Rock Effigy labyrinth?

    • Dear Rosemarie, Thank you for your comment. Yes, Theresa referred to this labyrinth and I sought it out… Walking it, amid the early-spring snow, within sight of the Sacred Fire felt significant…

  2. Pingback: “Are we brave enough for peace?” | Peacing Stories

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