Calls to Action
The truth telling and reconciliation process began in Canada as a response to the Canadian Indian Residential School System legacy initiated by the Canadian government. The Canadian government formed the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) in June 2008 with a mandate to inform all Canadians about what happened in Indian Residential Schools that many people living in Canada do not know.
The Commission documented statements from student survivors, families, and communities. The most significant result was the publishing of the TRC reports and the 94 Calls to Action. These Calls address all areas of Canadian life. Some of themes these Calls fall under include education, child welfare, language and culture, health, justice, media, sport and recreation, business reconciliation, newcomers to Canada, and many more.
Below are the Calls to Action that specifically relate to Education, Professional Development and Training for Public Servants, and Business and Reconciliation.
- We call upon the federal government to develop with Aboriginal groups a joint strategy to eliminate educational and employment gaps between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canadians.
- We call upon the federal government to eliminate the discrepancy in federal education funding for First Nations children being educated on reserves and those First Nations children being educated off reserves.
- We call upon the federal government to prepare and publish annual reports comparing funding for the education of First Nations children on and off reserves, as well as educational and income attainments of Aboriginal peoples in Canada compared with non-Aboriginal people.
- We call on the federal government to draft new Aboriginal education legislation with the full participation and informed consent of Aboriginal peoples. The new legislation would include a commitment to sufficient funding and would incorporate the following principles:
- Providing sufficient funding to close identified educational achievement gaps within one generation.
- Improving education attainment levels and success rates.
- Developing culturally appropriate curricula.
- Protecting the right to Aboriginal languages, including the teaching of Aboriginal languages as credit courses.
- Enabling parental and community responsibility, control, and accountability, similar to what parents enjoy in public school systems.
- Enabling parents to fully participate in the education of their children.
- Respecting and honouring Treaty relationships.
- We call upon the federal government to provide adequate funding to end the backlog of First Nations students seeking a post-secondary education.
- We call upon the federal, provincial, territorial, and Aboriginal governments to develop culturally appropriate early childhood education programs for Aboriginal families.
Professional Development and Training for Public Servants
- We call upon federal, provincial, territorial, and municipal governments to provide education to public servants on the history of Aboriginal peoples, including the history and legacy of residential schools, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Treaties and Aboriginal rights, Indigenous law, and Aboriginal–Crown relations. This will require skills based training in intercultural competency, conflict resolution, human rights, and anti-racism.
Business and Reconciliation
- We call upon the corporate sector in Canada to adopt the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as a reconciliation framework and to apply its principles, norms, and standards to corporate policy and core operational activities involving Indigenous peoples and their lands and resources. This would include, but not be limited to, the following:
- Commit to meaningful consultation, building respectful relationships, and obtaining the free, prior, and informed consent of Indigenous peoples before proceeding with economic development projects.
- Ensure that Aboriginal peoples have equitable access to jobs, training, and education opportunities in the corporate sector, and that Aboriginal communities gain long-term sustainable benefits from economic development projects.
- Provide education for management and staff on the history of Aboriginal peoples, including the history and legacy of residential schools, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Treaties and Aboriginal rights, Indigenous law, and Aboriginal–Crown relations. This will require skills based training in intercultural competency, conflict resolution, human rights, and anti-racism.