Truth and reconciliation: the invitation to hold story, to remember, to grow in understanding. Here are some ways we can just be Good Humans, wherever we may land in big conversations that have big feelings.
My first encounter with truth and reconciliation
I’m perched tentatively on the edge of my seat. Autumn leaves are falling just beyond the floor-to-ceiling windows of the hall that is, for now, home to a sacred rite. It is my first experience with a blanket ceremony.
An indigenous elder leads our group through an exercise of imagination and truth telling. We visit history from the perspective of indigenous peoples across Canada. We consider how different that view point is from our own. Many of us weep. Some leave the hall. It’s a lot to take in. There was so much we simply did not know.
The elder challenges, “You’ve likely heard the word ‘reconciliation’ a lot in media lately. Maybe even in your personal conversations. From my perspective? The word ‘reconciliation’ implies that there is something to be reconciled. To be restored. That there was a relationship to return to. But this is not my experience. In my experience? ‘Conciliation’ might be a more honest place to start.”
The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation…
…also called Orange Shirt Day, is a day of attention and intention. September 30th is one day of the year that we are welcomed to remember. To consider history through an unpolished lens. And to consider our shared role in building a future that tends all, equally.
Global News elaborates:
Are truth and reconciliation my responsibility?
Chief Delorme of the Cowessess First Nation says,
We all inherited this. Nobody today created residential schools; nobody today created the Indian Act. No one today created the ’60’s Scoop. But we all inherited it, and we have to acknowledge that people are healing. People are hurting. Let’s do something about it.Chief Delorme
How can I participate in healing?
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So, the question of practical help is always front of mind for us. It’s actually what we do. All day. Every day!
If you’re up for it, you could do a little reading up on the history of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada – NCTR? Look for their “94 Calls to Action.”
Curious about digging even deeper? The National Inquiry Into Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls: Final Report | MMIWG (mmiwg-ffada.ca is another deep exploration of mindful interaction with these critical issues.
Listen, learn, companion, give. Is there a way of engaging with truth and reconciliation that is a natural extension of You? What if we each begin from exactly that place and build from there?
In shared humanity and dignity.
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