To the Editor,

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission was struck to make recommendations to counteract the generations of trauma caused by sending Indigenous children to residential schools. This act has been defined as cultural genocide. There were 94 calls to action made by the Commission in their final report. The need to implement these calls is widely accepted as necessary to repair relations between Indigenous and non- indigenous people.

The call to action numbers 62 to 64 specifically are about the need to update elementary and secondary school curriculums. Key to these updates is the direct involvement of Indigenous people in writing the curriculum about their own history and culture. Writing sessions were planned and organized to start on July 9, but these sessions were cancelled by the Conservative government on July 6.

The government now plans to “work with experts, elders and Indigenous communities”. However, with the cancellation of the meetings that had already been set to do just that, it is unclear how the government plans to proceed.

If we are truly serious about our work towards Truth and Reconciliation, we need to be working side-by-side with First Nation communities in implementing the calls to action. The Conservatives’ cancellation of the curriculum writing sessions is a big step backwards, and raises red flags about their dedication to actions that are widely accepted as necessary.

Karen Gventer
Indigenous Relations Liaison
Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound NDP Electoral District Association

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