CBC Radio's The House: TRC calls to action — what's next?
Here is what's on this week's episode of The House
Did the Pope's apology go far enough?
Indigenous leaders are divided on Pope Francis' apology, delivered in Canada this week. Some say it fulfils the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's call to action 58 and represents a key step forward, while others argue it didn't go far enough.
Murray Sinclair, the former chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, delivered the final report that included the 94 calls to action in 2015. Guest host Niigaan Sinclair starts The House's special coverage with a conversation with his father about whether the former judge and senator — one of the architects of the calls to action — feels call 58 is now complete and what the Pope's visit means for reconciliation.
(When this week's episode of The House was recorded, the Pope had not used the word "genocide" in discussing the residential school system, as noted by one of the voices on our show. However, when speaking to reporters on his flight out of Canada, Pope Francis said the treatment of Indigenous people through residential schools was "a genocide.")
A papal apology was number 58 on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's list of 94 calls to action. Now that Pope Francis has been to Canada, where do we stand on the rest?
The Yellowhead Institute at the Toronto Metropolitan University has been publishing an annual report since 2019 that tracks the progress governments and other organizations are making on the calls. Yellowhead's research director Eva Jewell joins The House to go over the report card.
The first five: Child welfare
The first five calls to action focus on child welfare — and reducing the number of Indigenous children in care is at the very top. The House hears from Huu-ay-aht First Nation councillor Edward Johnson about how his community has made strides in preventing some of its children from being removed from their homes.
Then, University of Regina professor Raven Sinclair, a Sixties Scoop survivor, talks about the progress being made on these calls.
Headway on justice
Of the first 42 calls to action dealing with the legacy of residential schools, 18 are focused on justice.
John Borrows, the Loveland Chair in Indigenous Law at the University of Toronto's Faculty of Law, breaks down why there are so many calls to action focused on justice and explains why so many people this week have been calling on the Pope to revoke the "doctrine of discovery."
Reviving and recognizing traditional births
Earlier this year, for the first time in decades, a First Nation community in Saskatchewan experienced a traditional Indigenous birth. In Sturgeon Lake First Nation, a baby was brought into the world in a healing lodge with the help of Indigenous midwives and traditional ceremony.
It was a moment that was both professionally and personally significant for Norma Rabbitskin, the senior health nurse at the Sturgeon Lake Health Centre and the grandmother of the newborn. Rabbitskin explains how she's working to implement call number 22, which urges the recognition and incorporation of Indigenous healing practices.
Commitment to teaching and funding Indigenous education
All Canadian provinces and territories include aspects of Indigenous education in their schools, but not all of it is mandatory and the age at which children learn about it varies. What's more, government funding cuts to Indigenous education are putting additional strain on educators.
Colinda Clyne, the coordinating principal of Indigenous education at the Upper Grand District School Board in Guelph, Ont., discusses what still has to be done to fulfil the education calls to action.