If you are a Survivor of Indian Residential Schools and need support, please call the National Indian Residential School Crisis line at 1-866-925-4419 or text 686868. You can also call the Canadian Mental Health Association toll free at 1-833-456-4566 (in Quebec 1-866-277-3553) or visit crisisservicescanada.ca. Other self-care acts include taking a walk, calling or texting a friend, nourishing your body with a snack, and openly showing your emotions.
Crystal Gail Fraser & Sara Komarnisky
Five years ago, in August 2017, we created and published 150 Acts of Reconciliation for the Last 150 Days of Canada’s 150. We were writing from a place of discomfort with the uncritical nationalism leading up to and during Canada 150 celebrations of oppression, colonialism, and genocide. In this post, we offer our reflections on 150 Acts five years later, share how colonialism and reconciliation in the settler state of Canada continue to be omnipresent, and think briefly but deeply about how to move forward in a way that advances truth and reconciliation. When we wrote the list, we were inspired by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s (TRC) 94 Calls to Action but recognized that the Calls to Action were aimed at elected governments, church leaders, corporations and members of the business sector, and other national organizations. We wrote 150 Acts for a settler audience in a way that would speak to the humans within these organizations and perhaps grow reconciliation in quotidian spaces through widely accessible acts. It was to complement the work of the TRC and bring acts of reconciliation to the everyday level. Despite our best efforts to educate a wide and public audience, our work did not fully prepare Canadians for what was to come.
On May 27th, 2021, Tk’emlúps te Secwèpemc confirmed what Survivors and Indigenous communities had known for decades: that Indigenous children suffered untimely deaths and their bodies were sometimes buried in unmarked graves around Indian Residential Schools. Continue reading