On August 4, 2017, there were 150 days left in Canada’s 150th year and Active History published “150 Acts for Reconciliation for the Last 150 Days of Canada’s 150.” Since then, the post has gone viral with more than 30,000 views.
As we wrote #150Acts in the late days of July, we pinged ideas back and forth, tossed some, kept many more, and had profound conversations about Indigenous-settler relations in Canada. We viewed this as an important exercise of reconciliation between a Gwich’in woman and a settler Canadian with Ukrainian heritage and hoped that others would similarly engage. In our post, we offered 150 different ways for Canadians to practice reconciliation, individually, with families and friends, or at work.
The ripple effect of our list has been both overwhelming and humbling. We have witnessed change happen on the ground as a result of Canadians further committing to reconciliation: Indigenous flags have been erected at municipal facilities, learning circles have been organized for people to take the University of Alberta’s MOOC, “Indigenous Canada,” and people continue to add to our initial list of ideas.
To further share our ideas and our #150Acts, we created a set of posters that are now available for purchase. We are pleased to share design and art by Yukon artist Lianne Marie Leda Charlie who is Tagé Cho Hudän | Big River People (Northern Tutchone). Please visit our website for more information and to purchase the posters. We invite you to keep making acts of reconciliation and share project this with others.
Crystal and Sara
Crystal Fraser is a PhD Candidate in History at the University of Alberta and Gwichya Gwich’in from Inuvik and Dachan Choo Gèhnjik, Northwest Territories. Her research focuses on the history of residential schools in the Canadian North during the postwar period.
Dr. Sara Komarnisky is a post-doctoral fellow in History at the University of Alberta and is of Ukrainian settler heritage. She is an anthropologist currently researching art and craft made by Indigenous patients at Canadian “Indian Hospitals” from the 1940s to the 1960s.