Fully engaging with Indigenous people and issues is an ongoing process. It's not just a one-day involvement. What you do during September 18th and after matters, in terms of your continued involvement, and expresses a genuine desire for reconciliation.
Many opportunities and next steps towards developing your personal understanding of truth and reconciliation can be started today! We encourage everyone to begin something now.
Locating yourself on the continuum image below may help you develop your next steps or an action plan on your own journey towards reconciliation. Maybe you are at the start of your journey and need to inform yourself on the history of the Indigenous people in the surrounding areas and at UBC. Perhaps you have been moving through the continuum over the last year(s) and are already integrating Indigenous material into your learning environments. Wherever you are in the journey, remember, it is one step at a time.
Read about the history of the Indigenous people in the surrounding areas and at UBC. In order to fully engage in a process of reconciliation, researching the local culture and language of Indigenous people is a vital part of the process. As you read the resources below, ask yourself:
- What do you think is the difference between reconciliation and resolution?'
- Why is there a need for reconciliation?
- What is your knowledge and understanding of other Truth Commissions around the world?
- How might reconciliation lead to healing?
- What steps can you take to lead toward reconciliation?
- What is preventing you from taking these steps?
There is an abundance of resources on the topic of Truth and Reconciliation for both Faculty, Staff and Students. A few are highlighted below. For a more comprehensive list of Books and Articles, visit the Indigenous Foundations website:
- Read TRC Faculty Guide
- Read Walking together will help rebuild relationships by Chief Robert Joseph, the ambassador for Reconciliation Canada.
- Inform yourself about local Indigenous communities. The unceded lands of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations make up Greater Vancouver. UBC is located on Musqueam territory, and the Musqueam reserve, a portion of their territory where much of the Musqueam community resides, is located 8km from campus.
- A basic introduction to Indian Residential School history and other matter, videos of UBC events that add considerable depth, and information on a range of other core topics: http://indigenousfoundations.arts.ubc.ca/
- Truth and Reconciliation at UBC: Confronting Our Legacies by Sarah Ling
- Canada. Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples. Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, Volume 1: Looking Forward, Looking Back. Chapter 10, "Residential Schools." Ottawa: Supply and Services Canada, 1996.
- Fournier, Suzanne and Ernie Crey. Stolen from our Embrace: The Abduction of First Nations Children and the Restoration of Aboriginal Communities. Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre, 1997.
- Haig-Brown, Celia. Resistance and Renewal: Surviving the Indian Residential School. Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 1998. First published by Tillicum Library, 1988.
- Manitoba. Public Inquiry into the Administration and Aboriginal People. “Aboriginal Women.” Vol. 1, chap. 13, in Report of the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry of Manitoba. Winnipeg: Public Inquiry into the Administration and Aboriginal People, 1999.
- "The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Interim Report" and "They Came for the Children: Canada, Aboriginal Peoples, and Residential Schools. A plain language history." (Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, 2012)
- "Speaking My Truth: Reflections on Reconciliation and Residential Schools. A plain-language reader." (The Aboriginal Healing Foundation, 2012)
- MOA Sources books - Each sourcebook focuses on an object, artist, or area of cultural significance, and serves as an important introduction to the work of the Museum and its community partners.
To understand more on the topic of Truth and Reconciliation, take a moment to watch the videos below:
- The 8th Fire - This program from CBC draws from an Anishinaabe prophecy that declares now is the time for Aboriginal peoples and the settler community to come together and build the '8TH Fire' of justice and harmony. Click TV to view full length episodes online.
- We Were Children - A film (83 mins) with online study guide based on experiences of several residential school survivors.
- Films: A Sorry State - With three Canadian government apologies to his parents and stepparents for past racist actions, filmmaker Mitch Miyagawa has the most apologized-to family in the country-maybe even the world. But what do they mean, to his parents, his young children and to his country? "A Sorry State" chronicles his life-changing journey of discovery. But is saying "sorry" enough? Can a word fix past atrocities and heal victims' pain, or is talk cheap?
- The Spirit Has No Colour - A training film for B.C.'s municipal police recruits on the relationship between police and Aboriginal peoples. The film provides information on: the history of Aboriginal peoples, the role of police in the enforcement of laws of Canada that today are deemed to have been damaging to the Aboriginal peoples, the experience of the Aboriginal peoples through that lens both the powerfully positive and the profoundly negative, the consequence of generations of children being taken from families and entered into the residential schools of this country, and connecting issues of drug and alcohol abuse, family disintegration and loss of identity to the sexual, psychological, physical and other abuses common in the schools.
Visit the 2 locations suggested below and reflect on some the following questions:
- What are the names, locations, histories and cultures of the Indigenous peoples on UBC campus?
- What does it mean to be on unceded territory?
- What Indian Residential Schools that were in your area. If there were schools, how long were they open? What were the experiences of the people who attended the schools?
- How have political and social structures evolved from past and present government policies?
- What does this mean to your personally?
1. The Museum of Anthropology (MOA) at UBC to learn about a wide array of local and global Indigenous cultures.
- Location: UBC Campus, 6393 N.W. Marine Drive, Vancouver, B.C., V6T 1Z2
- Admission: Free for students, staff and faculty.
2. Musqueam Cultural Education Resource Centre Gallery features historical cultural objects, contemporary art and an open space where the Musqueam people can share their history and culture, from their perspective. As with many First Nations, many of Musqueam’s cultural treasures have been lost or removed; over time the Musqueam people have been reacquiring and reconnecting with these objects. The gallery serves to put these pieces on display in a proper cultural context and show the continuation of Musqueam culture through time. Location: On the Musqueam Reserve at 4000 Musqueam Avenue, across from the Musqueam Indian Band Administration office. You can take the 41 bus to Crown St and 41st avenue, then walk to the centre Admission: Enjoy self-guided tours on Fridays and Saturdays, with the assistance of the Reciprocal Research Network (RRN) mobile app, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $5 per person and open to the public. Group tours and guided tours are by appointment Monday to Thursday. Contact Mary Point, Facilities Manager for group tour inquiries at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are many resources at UBC to help support faculty, staff and students in their personal journal of reconciliation. Want to develop a better understanding of what reconciliation at UBC looks like? Want more information on how to meaningfully address reconciliation and indigenous knowledge into your course? Try these resources:
- The First Nations House of Learning has four main functions: organizing and providing Longhouse student services; overseeing public programming and use of the building; providing a point of contact for liaison with Aboriginal communities; and leading strategic planning on UBC Aboriginal initiatives
- To this end, the First Nations House of Learning is dedicated to providing a positive environment for First Nations, Métis, and Inuit students, staff, and faculty. Following the "voices of our ancestors", the spirit of the Longhouse is guided by the Longhouse Teachings of Respect, Relationships, Responsibility, and Reverence.
- Amy Perreault, Coordinator of Aboriginal Initiatives, works with staff, faculty groups, training programs for teaching assistants, new faculty, and administrators, to better understand the dynamics of classroom discussions of Aboriginal issues in a multicultural environment.
- Your Colleagues/Peers
- Some questions you might ask:
- What are you doing on September 18?
- How are you encouraging others to engage?
- How are you recognizing the Year of Reconciliation in your classes?
- How are you integrating reconciliation and a recognition of Indigenous knowledge in your courses?
- Commit to to taking steps to learn and teach about Aboriginal peoples.
- Commit to gaining an increased appreciation of the histories and cultural diversity of Aboriginal students, staff and faculty.
- Commit to attending CTLT's workshops on how to prepare for the September 18th TRC event and how to integrate TRC resources into your teaching and learning materials. Register for both here: "Sep 18th - How to Prepare, Engage, & Continue Learning" and "Incorporating Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Resources into Your Teaching and Learning"
- Commit to further exploration by attending the September 18th Truth and Reconciliation Events at UBC and around Vancouver.
- Commit to a continued understanding.
For Faculty, Staff and Students:
Look for opportunities to support local Truth and Reconciliation events. You can volunteer at both the "national" and "local" level. You may also want to show your support by joining the "Walk for Reconciliation" on Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013.
There are many ways to volunteer:
- Truth and Reconciliation Commission – http://www.trc.ca
- UBC Indian Residential School Initiative – http://irsi.aboriginal.ubc.ca
- Reconciliation Canada - http://reconciliationcanada.ca/events/
- City of Vancouver Year of Reconciliation Events: http://vancouver.ca/people-programs/year-of-reconciliation.aspx
- Share the Our Truth at UBC brochure below with friends and colleagues: Our Truth: Truth and Reconciliation at UBC