The Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, the largest class-action settlement in Canadian history, began in 2007. One of the elements of the agreement was the establishment of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) to facilitate reconciliation among former students, their families, communities and all Canadians.
But how has the Government of Canada been delivering on these recommendations? Let’s take a look at what’s being done under museums and archives (Call to Action 66) as we continue this series on the TRC Calls to Action.
Call to Action 66: Establish multi-year funding for community-based youth organizations to deliver programs on reconciliation, and establish a national network to share information and best practices
As part of the Government of Canada’s commitment to implement Call to Action 66, Budget 2019 announced $15.2 million over three years, starting in fiscal year 2019 to 2020, for an Indigenous youth pilot program delivered by Canadian Roots Exchange.
Canadian Roots Exchange is a non-for-profit organization which works to advance reconciliation by bringing together Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth to promote mutual understanding and respect. Funding will support the establishment of a distinctions-based national network of Indigenous youth, help ensure that government’s policies and programs are informed by the diverse voices of Indigenous youth and provide support to community events and gatherings for Indigenous youth and reconciliation-focused community-based Indigenous youth activities.
The Government of Canada also launched the Canada Service Corps, which was supported by an investment of $105 million over five years and $25 million per year ongoing and was developed with and for youth. This initiative encourages young Canadians to make a difference in the lives of Canadians by getting involved in service to communities. Youth benefit by developing skills for life and work, while experiencing personal growth. As a key element, youth will learn about reconciliation, allowing them to develop mutual understandings and establish and maintain mutually-respectful relationships. They will be encouraged to consider reconciliation while identifying and addressing a social issue in the community. Special priority and consideration will be given to projects submitted by Indigenous organizations and up to 25 per cent of the projects funded through the call for proposals address reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.