I received the Spring 2017 issue of the University of Alberta’s alumni magazine this month and this issue was dedicated to truth and reconciliation. This issue contained articles aimed at raising awareness of what truth and reconciliation means and what we can all do to be allies to indigenous people.
Understanding the ongoing impact of residential schools is important for all Canadians. As librarians we play an important role in both ensuring that people understand what happened and working to create inclusive spaces.
The Spring 2017 issue of the magazine is available at https://www.ualberta.ca/newtrail/spring-2017, but I wanted to highlight some content here on this blog.
The first is the list of resources provided for people to learn more about First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples. These included:
- Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: trc.ca
- National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation – umanitoba.ca/centres/nctr/index.html
- U of A Indigenous Index – ualberta.ca/aboriginal-indigenous
- Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada – aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/
- United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples – un.org/esa/socdev/unpfii/documents/DRIPS_en.pdf
- Historica Canada – thecanadianencyclopedia.ca
- Métis Nation of Alberta – albertametis.com
- Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami – itk.ca
- ReconciliationCanada – reconciliationcanada.ca
- Reconciliation in Solidarity Edmonton – www.facebook.com/RISEdmonton
- Canada’s History Society – canadashistory/ca/Explore/Webinars
- First Nations Child & Family Caring Society of Canada – fncaringsociety.com
- Indigenous Canada (University of Alberta MOOC) – ualberta.ca/courses/indigenous-canada
The other piece from this issue that I wanted to share was a short article entitled “What Can I Do?” by Roberta Jamieson, a Mohawk lawyer and CEO of Indspire. Here is the advice that she offered:
- Acknowledge the facts
- Work proactively to build relationships
- Do what you can do in your own sphere
- Start a conversation every day with someone you know on this topic
- Raise it in your place of worship, in your classroom
- Keep these issues alive
- Create the political will: call your MP and elected officials. Make it an issue wherever you are. Ask every leader how they will implement the calls to action
- Keep it alive and do what you can in your sphere to build relationships with indigenous people
- Lend your support, volunteer
- Change your workplace: create a place for them to feel valued; hire Indigenous employees
- There’s so much you can do to change history. Think about what you can do in your life, your time, your sphere of influence.