Wednesday, 18 September 2013
Truth and Reconciliation's contribution to improving the health of Aboriginal peoples
Today opens the national event of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission meetings with sessions in Vancouver expected to draw thousands from across the country. And while there has been some attention from media, the event is not receiving the attention that befits its purpose, and not the same level of attention that has being paid by Canada’s Aboriginal peoples.
It is in part about the atrocities of the residential school system, more generally about the dark Canadian history of Colonialism and how First Nations peoples were disempowered, abused and decimated. A sensitive and enlightening review was provided in the Vancouver Sun.
UBC went so far as to close their university system, a massive undertaking, in support of the event.
Understanding the issues is the first step in healing. Dialogue is the second. The TRC process has helped with the dialogue and has attempted to build understanding. We all have a role to become better personally informed.
Most discussions of the reconciliation process cautiously avoid mention of how the current Canadian government has undermined First Nations, reduced funding for social programs, limited direct dialogue and systematically continued the century long process of neglecting the Crown’s commitments under the various Canadian treaties. It is propagation of the darkness.
The good news is found in the considerable improvements in health, education, social and economic wellbeing that have been gained in the past two decades. Aboriginal peoples carry the excessive burden heaped upon by centuries of disparity. It has taken over seven generations of systematic oppression to come to this point. It will take many generations to complete the healing process.
Become informed and join the dialogue. Truth and Reconciliation Commission home page