As part of larger colonial and assimilation efforts, for over 100 years the Government of Canada and partnering religious groups removed Indigenous children from their homes and moved them to “Residential Schools” now known for pervasive abuse of all varieties and neglect. In 2008, faced with legal and political pressure, the federal government apologized and provided reparations, including funding for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC). Until 2015 the TRC worked with Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples to uncover the truth of what happened in Residential Schools and promote both healing and reconciliation. Despite the TRC’s dedication, intergroup relations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples continue to be a challenge for Canada.
Since the TRC issued its Final Report with the declaration “it’s time for reconciliation,” the topic has been of frequent public discourse—the federal Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs (The Honourable Dr. Carolyn Bennett) has even coined her role as “Minister of Reconciliation.” Reconciliation is thus an urgent and compelling subject for the Canadian public.
We are working to understand:
How Indigenous and non-indigenous peoples in Canada think about reconciliation. Our hope is to develop a Canadian “reconciliation barometer” in collaboration with the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation and research partners to track reconciliation in Canada on an on-going basis. Though barometers of reconciliation exist in three other countries, they are evolving projects and cannot be directly imported for use in Canada because of specificities in cultural and historical contexts.
How perceived reconciliation relates to well-being.
How to engage non-Indigenous peoples in reconciliation efforts.