Advent Day 22: Calls to Action
“We call upon the federal government, in collaboration with the national Aboriginal organizations, to revise the information kit for newcomers to Canada and its citizenship test to reflect a more inclusive history of the diverse Aboriginal peoples of Canada, including information about the Treaties and the history of residential schools.”
Be silent for a moment and consider:
How would you feel if the history of your people, which included incredibly hardship and resiliency, was misrepresented or entirely ignored in your nation’s history books?
The above is the 93rd of 94 “Calls to Action” detailed in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report for Canada. The report examines the historic abuses suffered by Canada’s First Nations at the hands of settlers, governments, social agencies and Churches. It also details the resiliency of the First Nations peoples, and the ongoing legal implications of the Treaties that were signed between the Nations and Canada.
The 94 calls to action include but are not limited to: formal apologies from the nation and Church denominations; child welfare; health; language and culture; spirituality; education; the justice system; missing children and burial information.
What we see in this report is the devastating legacy of the forced displacement of Indigenous People in Canada, a policy and practice that began with first contact, went through the Residential School system, includes the “Sixties Scoop” of children from their families, and continues today in systemic and structural racism. The First Nations of North America have been internally displaced people for generations, a fact that is only now being officially recognised in some places.
Canada has failed to honour its elders, failed to listen to and respect the people who were here first, the people who offered the deepest and costliest hospitality to the European settlers. The TRC’s 93rd call is for an honest and inclusive history of Canada to be taught to newcomers, including refugees. If we do not tell the truth about the past, there can be no hope for moving forward.
Read: Luke 2:22-38; Revelation 7:9-12.
Pray: Start reading through the 94 Calls to Action and pray for each one. This will take some time -days or weeks - but it is worth our time. Ask what role you have in seeing these calls acted upon, and if there is any change that is needed in your own heart. 94 Calls to Action :
(As of November 2018, only 10 of the calls have been completed, 19 are in progress, 32 have projects proposed, and 33 have not been started.)
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Our vision is to help people survive and recover from forced displacement. We do this together with the church, both globally, and locally in Canada.