Reconciliation throughout the year

Article / December 8, 2023 / Project number: 22-0181

Now that a few months have passed since the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, we must remember that Reconciliation is a continuous engagement. In our collective pursuit of a more inclusive and diverse Defence Team (DT) and Canada, we need to continue our efforts toward Reconciliation throughout the entire year.

It may be challenging to find ways to maintain our Reconciliation efforts all year-round. This article aims to provide insights on how to consistently remain a positive changemaker.

What is Reconciliation, and why does it matter all year?

As stated in The Truth and Reconciliation Commission Final Report, Volume 6 (2015), “Reconciliation is about establishing and maintaining a mutually respectful relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples in this country. For that to happen, there must be awareness of the past, acknowledgement of the harm that has been inflicted, atonement for the causes, and action to change behaviour.”

Reconciliation is an ongoing concept that we need to keep on considering throughout the year because, even though many Canadians have only recently become aware of the impacts of residential schools and of the many children who never returned home, these are truths First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities have been living with for many generations.

If we want to progress, we must all work together, to constantly improve our understanding of the past and the pain caused.

How can we continue our reconciliation journey everyday?

When thinking about how to be a positive change maker on the path towards Reconciliation, three words should guide us: education, understanding, and collaboration.

The journey toward Reconciliation involves educating ourselves to maximize understanding and repair our relationships as we embark on the healing process. To achieve this, each of us must learn about the history, share the knowledge with others, and join Indigenous Peoples as caring partners to offer support in moving forward together.

How can I learn more about Indigenous cultures and the Residential School’s system?

There are plenty of ways to deepen our knowledge about Indigenous cultures and the Residential School system. Whether it’s by reading, watching documentaries, or exploring online resources, many options are available.

As a starting point, we recommend listening to Residential School survivors’ stories, reading about the different Indigenous communities and Canada’s commitment to Reconciliation or exploring some Indigenous learning products.

How can we show support to Indigenous communities throughout the year?

The best way to continuously extend our support is by continuing our Reconciliation journey, no matter what it looks like. Whether it involves reading about Indigenous issues, engaging in discussions with Indigenous colleagues, watching documentaries, or participating in Reconciliation-themed events, committing to learning and understanding is a great demonstration of support.

How can we ensure inclusivity in the workplace and in our daily lives?

Fostering inclusivity begins with how we treat those around us.

While there's no one-size-fits-all solution, inclusivity is as simple as respecting and accepting those in our communities, demonstrating a genuine desire to learn about Indigenous cultures and Reconciliation, and remaining open to discovering new ways to be more inclusive as we continue our journey towards reconciliation.

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