How the Government of Canada has been responding to the TRC’s Calls to Action on sports and reconciliation
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 Sports (Calls to Action 87 to 91) as we continue this series on the TRC Calls to Action.
Call to Action 87: Provide public education that tells the national story of Aboriginal athletes in history
The annual Tom Longboat Awards were relaunched in 2017. On October 18, 2018, the two national recipients, Michael Linklater (Saskatchewan) and Jocelyne Larocque (Manitoba), were honoured at Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Sport Canada will continue to work in collaboration with the Aboriginal Sport Circle to identify opportunities to tell the national story of Indigenous athletes.
Call to Action 88: Ensure long-term Aboriginal athlete development and growth, and continued support for the North American Indigenous Games
Canada invested $18.9 million and ongoing funding of $5.5 million every four years, to support Indigenous youth through sport initiatives. More Indigenous children and youth will be able to participate in sport through investments in the following 4 areas:
- Indigenous sport leadership.
- Culturally relevant sport programming.
- The North American Indigenous Games.
- Sport Canada’s data and research.
Call to Action 89: Amend the Physical Activity and Sport Act to support reconciliation
In 2017, the Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities met with the Aboriginal Sport Circle’s Board of Directors to begin a dialogue on addressing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, in particular, Call to Action 89.
The ongoing work in other areas related to Indigenous sport development will lay the foundation for the future amendment of the Physical Activity and Sport Act. The Government of Canada recognizes that ongoing engagement with Indigenous Peoples is an important component of this process.
Call to Action 90: Ensure that national sports policies, programs, and initiatives are inclusive of Aboriginal peoples
Canada is looking for more opportunities to profile excellence among Indigenous youth in sport, which will help to develop an elite athlete program for Indigenous athletes, as per Call to Action 90.
Through Budget 2018, the Government of Canada invested $47.5 million over five years, and $9.5 million per year ongoing, to expand the use of sport for social development in more than 300 Indigenous communities.
Call to Action 91: Ensure that Indigenous peoples’ territorial protocols are respected during international sporting events
Sport Canada is reviewing the manner in which Indigenous groups were engaged with during the planning and delivery phases of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games and the Toronto 2015 Pan and Parapan American Games. This review serves as the basis for entrenching Call to Action 91 in appropriate Hosting Program documents and to ensure that territorial protocols are respected for any event that Canada provides support to.
In addition, Sport Canada will work in close collaboration with the organizing committees of International Major Multisport Games to ensure they are aware of and acting upon this call to action.