Tuesday, 15 December 2015
December 15, 2015: TRC Report Day
(Below is a probably the shortest post I have done in this blog and it relates to a historical moment in Canadian History, and Indigenous/Canadian Relations/History: The Release of the Truth and Reconciliation Report)
Today the Truth and Reconciliation Committee will release its full report on the Residential Schools policy & 'cultural genocide' that was practiced through them. It will be an emotional day for many (I already found myself saddened reading select stories of victims who never made it home during the 30s, 40s, and 50s specifically).
What I urge Canada, Canadians, and Canadian politicians to remember is that the TRC on residential schools is a small symbol of the genocidal needle within the colonial/settler-colonial haystack - there is so many more items that still have yet to be dealt with.
Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (which an Inquiry into this is in its infancy); The Sixties Scoop, Sterilization of Indigenous women in Alberta, the Day Schools, Forced relocation of Inuit people in the north; the CAS controversies and debacles in Manitoba and other provinces; forced land surrenders and appropriations; forced enfranchisement; the patriarchal structure that still dominates the Indian Act despite Bill C-31 & the McIver Decision; racism within Canada's educational, political, judicial, and social institutions .... all of which amount to an important component that continues to be hidden or shied away from actually discussing: The Genocide (not just cultural) of Indigenous peoples in Turtle Island - especially the section to which Canada is to share with the Indigenous Nations.
Thus, let us remember - this is only a small segment of the historical and contemporary wrong-doings to Indigenous peoples (many of which still continue and others which have yet to be addressed)...
As I have said on many occasions in Liberal and Academic circles (in relation to Indigenous philosophies and views): You cannot move forward without addressing the wrongs of the past - understanding this point and including it alongside healing and moving forward is reflective of true reconciliation and a form a form that includes Indigeneity as well as a step towards dismantling settler-colonialism. I want to state that in no way am I condemning the work of the TRC - but rather highlighting the fact it is a step in the right direction but is a symbol of the first few steps being made to rectify Canada's (as well as both the British and French empires/states) dark legacy of culture and ethnic destruction alongside of imperialism and encroachment upon Indigenous Nations.
Thus I pray - and hope that the government of Justin Trudeau, with amazing individuals like Carolyn Bennett, Jody Wilson-Raybould, and Robert Falcon-Ouellette, will not only remember this but act on the TRC to at least begin the healing process of a section of Canada's colonial/ongoing colonial legacy - rather then it sitting next to the Royal Commission of Aboriginal Peoples (RCAP) on a shelf somewhere in Ottawa.