In this toolkit, we will highlight some of the key issues facing Indigenous people today, who exactly is that problem affecting (children, women, men, LGBTQ2+, etc.), what you can do to help, and who you can contact to get started on helping.

Historic and current colonization affects all Canadians. Government policies and legislation (such as the Indian Act and the Residential Schools) have had devastating effects on Indigenous peoples; including the loss of lands, language, wealth and many cultural aspects. Compounding these problems is a history of misrepresentation of Canada’s past, a history that ignored (and often continues to ignore) systemic inequalities, taught Canadians they were superior to Indigenous peoples, and justified colonization. Indigenous civilizations and their cultural elements have survived despite years of persecution, denigration, and suppression.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) stated that these calls to action must be met  “in order to redress the legacy of residential schools and advance the process of Canadian reconciliation”. In our toolkit, we have used the TRC Calls to Action when applicable to highlight the importance to pursue decolonization and achieve reconciliation in order to resolve key issues.

DEFINITION

Reconciliation (in Canadian context)

Reconciliation is hard to categorize or explain, as the meaning differs for individuals. In Canada, indigenous peoples and settlers must develop a respectful relationship and work together to restore lands, economic self-sufficiency, and political jurisdictions.

See the full list of Calls to Action in the Report here:

We think it’s important to include articles from the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

“The efforts to draft a specific instrument dealing with the protection of Indigenous peoples worldwide date back over several decades. In 1982 the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) established the Working Group on Indigenous Populations with the mandate to develop a set of minimum standards that would protect Indigenous peoples.”

Canada was one of four countries, including the United States, Australia, and New Zealand, to vote no on the declaration. The UNDRIP is essential in ensuring that Indigenous peoples around the world are protected, and we believe it’s important to refer to specific articles when relevant.

We hope that you enjoy the toolkit and that the information found within allows you to begin your own healing journey and guides you on your path towards decolonization and reconciliation.

DEFINITION

Residential Schools

The reserve system is governed by the Indian Act and relates to ​First Nations​ bands and people, referred to in a legal context as Indians. Inuit and Métis people normally do not live on reserves, though many live in communities that are governed by ​land claims​ or self-government agreements

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