Crowd-sourced video project aims to make TRC report more accessible

Dozens of indigenous and non-indigenous people from across Canada have lent their voices to a digital archive of the truth and reconciliation report, in a series of 68 videos and shared online using the hashtag #ReadTheTRCReport.

'Let’s keep this report from getting shelved like so many before it,' Edmonton writer Zoe Todd says

Indigenous and non-indigenous people around Canada are uploading videos of themselves reading sections of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 388-page executive summary. They include Erica Violet Lee, top left; Joseph Murdoch-Flowers, top right; Brandon Pardy, bottom left; and Anne Crawford. (YouTube.com)

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission's executive summary includes six years of intensive research and weighs in at 388 pages.

Now, you can watch the summary, as well as read it. 

Dozens of indigenous and non-indigenous people from across Canada have lent their voices to a digital archive of the report in a series of 68 videos, shared online using the hashtag #ReadTheTRCReport.

The project was the brainchild of Erica Violet Lee, a Nēhiyaw woman in Saskatoon. She, along with Zoe Todd, a Métis writer in Edmonton, and Joseph Paul Murdoch-Flowers, an Inuk man in Iqaluit, asked people to upload a video of themselves reading a section of the report. To date, 68 videos had been uploaded to YouTube.

"I want to start this process of ensuring everyone in Canada has access to the report; to engage with it; to ensure its findings are mobilized," Todd said in the first video uploaded to YouTube.

"Let's keep this report from getting shelved like so many before it."

A blog post by Chelsea Vowel, a Métis writer and educator living in Montreal, inspired the project. Published on Vowel's popular site, âpihtawikosisân, the post criticizes journalists offering their opinions on the report when, according to Vowel, it is "abundantly clear" they haven't actually read it.

She doesn't name any names in her post, but writes: "If you are going to write a piece in a national paper about what the TRC summary has to say, you'd better read it. You should not be given access to a platform otherwise."

Contributors range from an Inuk man in Iqaluit, to a first-generation Canadian lawyer in Toronto, to a PhD candidate in Saskatoon. Many begin their video by acknowledging the treaty territory it was recorded on, or by greeting the viewer in their indigenous language.

While all of the report's sections have been completed and uploaded, Todd and others behind the project are asking more people to contact them about uploading videos of themselves reading one of the commission's 94 recommendations.

About the Author

Nikki Wiart

Nikki Wiart is a Métis journalist living in Edmonton, with roots in the small town of Castor, Alta. She has a Bachelor of Communications degree from MacEwan University and is headed to Ottawa in the fall to complete a graduate degree in journalism at Carleton University. She is a recipient of the Canadian Journalism Foundation's Aboriginal Fellowship Award.