Truth and Reconciliation
The City of Wetaskiwin—located on Treaty Six territory—remains committed to its diversity and inclusion initiatives, and recognizes the value and importance of the many Indigenous tribes, nations, and people who have long cared for and lived on this land. This web page was developed to share information and resources about Truth and Reconciliation, how to be a good ally (for non-Indigenous readers),and the horrific realities of the Residential School System, including its lasting, multi-generational impacts.
|Crisis Line Number for Indian Residential School Survivors and Family: 1-866-925-4419|
|The Residential Schools Crisis Line (1-866-925-4419) is available 24-hours a day for anyone experiencing pain or distress as a result of their residential school experience.|
Why is Reconciliation Important?
The reconciliation process is important for all Canadians because it's about the basics of how we treat each other as fellow human beings and the kind of relationships and communities we want to build for the future.
There remain many Canadians who don't really know much about the ongoing impact of Indian Residential Schools—and how it continues to be felt throughout generations. Residential schools for Indigenous people in Canada date back to the 1870s and the last school only closed in 1996. More than 150,000 First Nations, Métis, and Inuit children were placed in these schools. Connections with culture and family, parenting skills, and intergenerational relationships were damaged or lost. People were broken. It's time to acknowledge and understand the past, and find a new way forward.
Where Can I Learn More About Residential School History?
There are many resources available to those seeking to find out more about the history of Indian Residential Schools--especially online. Please do your own homework, and do not rely on Indigenous friends or colleagues to educate you (emotional labour 101). Here are a few resources to get you started:
- Residential School History (National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation)
- History of Residential Schools (Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada)
- Wawahte: Stories of Residential School Survivors
As a settler, how can I be a conscientious ally?
Asking yourself this question is a great first step--so thanks! The next step is to begin really listening to Indigenous leaders, activists, professors, lawyers, Elders (etc.) when they share their stories, perspectives, and experiences. Read blogs. Listen to podcasts. Follow threads on social media. It's important that you do the work of listening, processing, and seeking to understand.
If you live in or around Wetaskiwin, learn more about each of the four Cree Nations of Maskwacis (Ermineskin, Louis Bull, Montana, and Samson)--from the history of the land to their unique governance structures. Attend local powwows. There's a lot you can learn!
Again, here are a few links to explore on your way to being a conscientious ally:
- Guide to Allyship
- Indigenous Canada Course (Provided FREE by the University of Alberta)
- Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action (Audio of report reading available here)
- The Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund
- National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls