In 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) released its final report including ninety-four Calls to Action. However, six years later and many argue there has been little acknowledgement of the truth and even less action to make reconciliation a reality.
Cultural competency is a crucial first step on any reconciliation journey. Before action can occur, OSSTF/FEESO members should gain the knowledge, skills, and attitudes required to connect with Indigenous peoples with whom we share this land.
Bob Joseph, author and founder of Indigenous Corporate Training Inc., offers a very simple but essential component of any definition of reconciliation as “an act of conscious decolonizing of your thinking, actions, and words, and it offers healing for all Canadians and an opportunity to move forward with humility.”
Although there are many excellent examples of OSSTF/FEESO members who have embedded reconciliation in their schools, worksites, and classrooms, the OSSTF/FEESO First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Advisory Work Group members have highlighted a few of the many courses/resources available to assist members as they begin or move further on their journey towards truth and reconciliation:
- Indigenous Canada—Course and/or Certificate—University of Alberta
- Indigenous Corporate Training Inc.—Courses and free resources (e-books, blogs, and bulletins)
- Indigenous Cultural Competency Training (ICCT)—Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres (OFIFC)
- 4 Seasons of Reconciliation—a series of bilingual online resources, which promote a renewed relationship between Indigenous Peoples and Canadians through transformative and engaging learning towards anti-racism education. Can lead to a completion certificate provided by the First Nations University of Canada.
- Feather Carriers: Leadership for Life Promotion initiative—A cultural approach to community mobilization to enhance mental health and addictions and suicide prevention through culturally appropriate training.