Posts Tagged “Arts and Culture”

Call to Action #60


60. We call upon leaders of the church parties to the Settlement Agreement and all other faiths, in collaboration with Indigenous spiritual leaders, Survivors, schools of theology, seminaries, and other religious training centres, to develop and teach curriculum for all student clergy, and all clergy and staff who work in Aboriginal communities, on the need to respect Indigenous spirituality in its own right, the history and legacy of residential schools and the roles of the church parties in that system, the history and legacy of religious conflict in Aboriginal families and communities, and the responsibility that churches have to mitigate such conflicts and prevent spiritual violence.


In a few words: Train individuals in religious cultural safety



What does this mean in simple English?


           In a religiously pluralistic country such as Canada, it is crucially important for people of different faiths to understand each other. Even if we do not all agree, we need to understand each other’s differences, and find our common ground. Indirectly, this recommendation calls all faiths to better understand each other.


                  More specifically, this recommendation especially calls to action Christian groups, and even more specifically churches that were involved in the residential schools system. If there is to be full reconciliation for the survivors of residential schools, church groups need to not only apologize and make amends, but also ensure the same sort of the thing never happens again. In part, as this recommendation states, this means educating future religious leaders in the differences of Indigenous culture.


   From a policy perspective, this is a very difficult recommendation to universally implement, as there is no central authority to implement change in religious education. Rather, it is up to each individual religious group to play its own part in working towards reconciliation through cultural education.



Further Reading:


Compiled by Jonathan Wearing

Read more »

Call to Action #61



61. We call upon church parties to the Settlement Agreement, in collaboration with Survivors and representatives of Aboriginal organizations, to establish permanent funding to Aboriginal people for:


       i. Community-controlled healing and reconciliation projects.

     ii. Community-controlled culture- and language revitalization projects.

     iii. Community-controlled education and relationship building projects.

     iv. Regional dialogues for Indigenous spiritual leaders and youth to discuss       Indigenous spirituality, self-determination, and reconciliation.



In a few words: Churches should provide funding for Indigenous healing projects


What does this mean in simple English?



Given that this recommendation comes with a lot of financial cost attached, this recommendation might at first seem a little demanding towards religious groups. One might ask why it should be religious groups, and not the government who funds these programs. Is it unreasonable that churches should pay for these healing programs? Based on the fact many churches spent significant amounts of money administering residential schools—programs which severely damaged many Indigenous individuals—it is not unreasonable to think it would be right for churches to provide money to work towards healing for individuals and communities affected by residential schools.


 Again, from a policy perspective, a response such as this will be very hard to implement across the board, but will be the responsibility of each individual religious group. Individual people can help make a difference, if applicable, by calling upon their own individual religious groups to pay attention to this recommendation.


Further Reading:



Compiled by Jonathan Wearing


Read more »

Call to Action #67


 67. We call upon the federal government to provide full funding to the Canadian Museums Association to undertake, in collaboration with Aboriginal peoples, a national review of museum policies and best practices to determine the level of compliance with the United NationsDeclaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and to make recommendations.


A national review of museum policies carried out in collaboration between the Canadian Museums Association and Aboriginal peoples would in hope, address and solve aboriginal concerns surrounding museums and their portrayal of Aboriginal history and culture. In the past, policies and practices of numerous Canadian museums have failed to portray an accurate representation of Aboriginal history. In 1989, the Task Force on Museums and First peoples was established. This was an initiative between the Canadian Museum Association and the Assembly of First peoples and it was created for similar purposes as this recommendation calls for a review of museum policies and practices. The policies and practices of Canadian museums need to be compliant with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, including things like accurate historical portrayal. The dilemma that has occurred frequently throughout the course of aboriginal representation in museum institutions has been the effect that aboriginal culture remains “frozen in time”. One of the articles of the Unites Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is the right to “develop the past, present and future manifestations of their culture”, meaning the lack of contemporary representation in museums is going aboriginal culture a disservice by creating the perceived illusion their culture is isolated in the past. Collaboration with aboriginal peoples as part of this nation review will hopefully created a renewed sense of contemporary aboriginal culture and improve ways of modern representation.


Further Reading:


Compiled by: Emily Macleod

Read more »

Call to Action #68


68. We all upon the federal government, in collaboration with Aboriginal peoples, and the Canadian Museums Association to mark the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation in 2017 by establishing a dedicated national funding program for commemoration projects on the theme of reconciliation.


The 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation will undoubtedly hold Aboriginal consultation, involvement and participation. However, recommendation sixty-eight asks that one of the major themes beyond aboriginal historic and cultural representation should embody the theme of reconciliation. A funding program created by the federal government in collaboration with Aboriginal peoples and the Canadian Museum’s Association focused on the theme of reconciliation for the 150th anniversary would be a positive opportunity to solidify reconciliation on a national stage, marking and event that would not only celebrate the nations past but while acknowledging tragedy in a purposeful way, it would also mark steps in progress towards serious reconciliation. The Committee Report for Canada’s 150th Anniversary in 2017 on the Parliament of Canada website, as of right now has no mention of reconciliation as a theme on the agenda at all. There are a number of points where aboriginal history and culture are addressed but not in laments terms to tackle reconciliation specifically. One of the themes brought to light in the report touches on Canada’s future, “is it an opportunity to think about the Canada of tomorrow?” With this funding program and a real emphasis on the process of reconciliation and a serious commitment displayed through actions of this anniversary including collaboration with the CMA and Aboriginal peoples, this could potentially be a positive and impactful event in Canadian history. This is hugely important for all Canadian citizens, including Aboriginal people because the new Liberal government will have to further consult the public to gather a sense of how all Canadians should be represented and how.


Further Reading:

Canada 150th Anniversary in 2017  <>

Compiled by: Emily Macleod

Read more »

Call to Action #69


69. We call upon Library and Archives Canada to:

i. Fully adopt and implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the United Nations Joinet-Orentlicher Peoples, as related to know the truth about what happened and why, with regard to human rights violations committed against them in residential schools.

ii. Ensure that its record holdings related to residential schools are accessible to the public

iii. Commit more resources to its public education material and programming on residential schools.

“If the rest of the country is not willing to entertain the truth of what happened in this era then how are they going to be able to appreciate the contemporary reality of indigenous communities?” – Wab Kinew


This recommendation calls the Library and Archives of Canada to make records on residential schools and the human rights violations which occurred. Additionally, this recommendation calls for the institution to make these records more accessible, provide a greater degree of education on the data and how material on these topics can be researched and accessed. One of the most common challenges surrounding Archives especially is the lack of knowledge surrounding what Archives can be used for. More promotion of how Archives can be used in uncovering and education on Canadian history, particularly the original records from minority groups such as first nations groups are necessary in establishing these institutions as research tools. In 2012 Library and Archives Canada released a guide to the records of Indian and Inuit Affairs Program. This is the link to the Library and Archives Canada page on the information and access to the records.


Further Reading:


The following sources provide readers with existing data and research on aboriginal residential school,  the goal of this recommendation is to further establish this material to make it more accessible to the public in ways that are more easily understood and useful.



Compiled by: Emily Macleod

Read more »

Call to Action #79

TRC579. We call upon the federal government, in collaboration with Survivors, Aboriginal organizations, and the arts community, to develop a reconciliation framework for Canadian heritage and commemoration. This would include, but not be limited to:

i. Amending the Historic Sites and Monuments Act to include First Nations, Inuit, and Métis representation on the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada and its Secretariat.

ii. Revising the policies, criteria, and practices of the National Program of Historical Commemoration to integrate Indigenous history, heritage values, and memory practices into Canada’s national heritage and history.

iii. Developing and implementing a national heritage plan and strategy for commemorating residential school sites, the history and legacy of residential schools, and the contributions of Aboriginal peoples to Canada’s history.

The affects of residential schools can be seen widespread throughout Indigenous communities. It has often been referred to as a ‘cultural genocide’ as it had horrendous impacts on Indigenous culture and practices as children were stripped from their native identities and forced into an institution that glorified abuse in the name of religion and order.


However, it can be also be understood that Indigenous people have played a very prominent role in the development of Canada, from contributing to the war of 1812 as they helped protect British forces from invading Americans to fighting in the first world war.


By implementing this recommendation, it would recognize the impact that Indigenous people have had in Canadian history while paying tribute to their culture. It is vital in order for reconciliation to occur that Canadians are able to see the value of Indigenous people in our heritage while celebrating their rich and diverse background nationally.


Further Reading:


Aboriginal History in Canada, Indigenous and Northern Affairs


Compiled by: Nicole Elie

Read more »

Call to Action #83

trc 83

83. We call upon the Canada Council for the Arts to establish, as a funding priority, a strategy for Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists to undertake collaborative projects and produce works that contribute to the reconciliation process.


This recommendation would offer individuals, communities, and art lovers of the land and safe institution or setting to express themselves freely with open dialogue. Cultural mix that allows for understanding and growth for the youth and adults alike. One food for thought is having events that utilize the artistic works for charities or NGO’s that support human rights and reconciliation – such as ‘Habitat for humanity’. With their programs such as ‘Aboriginal housing program’ supporting safe and stable housing the program has served over 100 families with the support of CMHC.


Further Reading:

(Re)Conciliation, Canada Council for the Arts

Aboriginal Housing Program, Habitat for Humanity


Compiled By: Aaron Furbert

Read more »

Call to Action #90


We call upon the federal government to ensure that national sports policies, programs, and initiatives are inclusive of Aboriginal peoples, including, but not limited to, establishing:

i. In collaboration with provincial and territorial governments, stable funding for, and access to, community sports programs that reflect the diverse cultures and traditional sporting activities of Aboriginal peoples.
ii. An elite athlete development program for Aboriginal athletes.
iii. Programs for coaches, trainers, and sports officials that are culturally relevant for Aboriginal peoples.
iv. Anti-racism awareness and training programs.



To understand this recommendation people need to know that many programs in indigenous communities are highly underfunded including those for sports. This is because the government give vary little funding for such things causing children in indigenous communities to lose out on the chance to play sports. This is important to all Canadians because we always talk about how all children deserve the chance to play  sports and now if our government act on this recommendation then indigenous children will get to play as well.








Further Reading:


Compiled by : Jacinda Solomon

Read more »

Call to Action #91



We call upon the officials and host countries of international sporting events such as the Olympics, Pan Am, and Commonwealth games to ensure that Indigenous peoples’ territorial protocols are respected, and local Indigenous communities are engaged in all aspects of planning and participating in such events.


In order for this to happen the government would have to reach out to Indigenous communities and build a relationship with them. So as to welcome them to these sporting events. This would be done by the government acknowledging that they have been miss treating Indigenous communities and ignoring what goes on within them or as in regards to D^2 they need to stop turning a blind eye. This is important to all of Canada because if we want to build a better future for generations to come then we fully embrace who we are as a country and that means  correcting the governments mistakes on how they treated indigenous peoples. Canada claims to be a multicultural country but how can we be when our own government refuses to work with indigenous peoples who lived on this land long before us?



Further Reading:

  • The first World Indigenous Games 2015:


Compiled by: Jacinda Solomon

Read more »