Elder Lavinia Brown lighting the six wicks of a kudlik at the opening of the Commissioners Welcome (National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation PHSNE_00236)
“For over a century, the central goals of Canada’s Aboriginal policy were to eliminate Aboriginal governments; ignore Aboriginal rights; terminate the Treaties; and, through a process of assimilation, cause Aboriginal peoples to cease to exist as distinct legal, social, cultural, religious, and racial entities in Canada. The establishment and operation of residential schools were a central element of this policy, which can best be described as “cultural genocide.” Honouring the Truth, Reconciling the Future: Summary of the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
First Nations peoples receive significantly less government funding for programs and services per capita ($8,400) when compared with Canadians who receive $18,178 per capita in federal, provincial and municipal spending. In recent years, Canada has ranked between 6th and 12th on the UN Human Development Index while First Nations fall between 63rd and 78th. The federal government’s Community Well-Being Index shows that the gap has not changed since 1981.
AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde “Honouring the Promises: 2019 Federal Election Priorities for First Nations and Canada”
When the Truth and Reconciliation Commission released their Final Report in Dec. 2015, all levels of government made various levels of commitment to implement the 94 Calls to Action within their jurisdictions. But sometimes actions are incongruent with words. What follows is a detailed listing of actions from various governments over the last seven years that in many cases have advanced reconciliation but have also in many instance impeded progress.