Sunday October 22, 2017

Wondering how to get involved in reconciliation? Start by asking yourself these 5 questions

Ry Moran is the director of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation.

Ry Moran is the director of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation. (White Pine Pictures)

Listen 8:40

In 2015, the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation was created to preserve the memory of Canada's residential school system and legacy.

Located in Winnipeg, it is home to the permanent collection of statements, documents and other materials gathered on residential schools.

The Centre also continues the work of making sure that reconciliation happens in Canada, and ensuring that as many Canadians as possible take part in the reconciliation movement.

"If you look at the logo of the centre it's a flame … what that flame represents is that fire of reconciliation that we've lit in this country," said Ry Moran, director of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation.

National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation Logo

"That flame represents is that fire of reconciliation that we've lit in this country," said Ry Moran about the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation's logo. (NCTR)

"The question for everybody in this country is what can you bring to that fire? It might be a twig, it might be a log, or it might be a whole bunch of logs, but the idea is to build that fire to as bright, and as strong, and as resilient, and as enduring as possible."

While many of the calls to action outlined in the TRC report are the responsibility of the Canadian government, Moran says that there are smaller actions that average Canadians can act on.

"One of the most fundamental responsibilities that individuals have is to take that inner journey, that self-reflective journey, and really ask themselves, 'What really am I carrying around? What prejudices? What biases? Perhaps what racism am I carrying around?'" said Moran.   

By starting out with these questions, Moran says it will expose people to how little they know about Indigenous people.

A few other questions Moran thinks Canadians should ask themselves are:

  • Do I know any Indigenous people? If not, why?

  • Have I ever participated in ceremony? If not, why?

  • Am I able to name the traditional territory I stand on? If not, why?

  • Have I had meaningfully engaged in deep conversation with Indigenous people? If not, why?

  • Have I read an Indigenous author? If not, why?

"These are all really important questions people need to be asking themselves and then actively trying to work to address," said Moran.