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L'nu & Indigenous Studies

Reconciliation as Relationship in Canada’s Residential Schools: Reconciliation (p.16)

Quotes from The Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Volume 6 [Emphasis added]

A reconciliation framework is one in which Canada’s political and legal systems, educational and religious institutions, corporate sector, and civil society function in ways that are consistent with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which Canada has endorsed. The Commission believes that the following guiding principles of truth and reconciliation will assist Canadians moving forward:

  1. The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is the framework for reconciliation at all levels and across all sectors of Canadian society.
  2. First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples, as the original peoples of this country and as self-determining peoples, have Treaty, constitutional, and human rights that must be recognized and respected.
  3. Reconciliation is a process of healing relationships that requires public truth sharing, apology, and commemoration that acknowledge and redress past harms.
  4. Reconciliation requires constructive action on addressing the ongoing legacies of colonialism that have had destructive impacts on Aboriginal peoples’ education, cultures and languages, health, child welfare, administration of justice, and economic opportunities and prosperity.
  5. Reconciliation must create a more equitable and inclusive society by closing the gaps in social, health, and economic outcomes that exist between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canadians.
  6. All Canadians, as Treaty peoples, share responsibility for establishing and maintaining mutually respectful relationships.
  7. The perspectives and understandings of Aboriginal Elders and Traditional Knowledge Keepers of the ethics, concepts, and practices of reconciliation are vital to long-term reconciliation.
  8. Supporting Aboriginal peoples’ cultural revitalization and integrating Indigenous knowledge systems, oral histories, laws, protocols, and connections to the land into the reconciliation process are essential.
  9. Reconciliation requires political will, joint leadership, trust building, accountability, and transparency, as well as a substantial investment of resources.
  10. Reconciliation requires sustained public education and dialogue, including youth engagement, about the history and legacy of residential schools, Treaties, and Aboriginal rights, as well as the historical and contemporary contributions of Aboriginal peoples to Canadian society.

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Legal & Government Documents

In the Royal Proclamation of 1763, the British declared that all lands west of the established colonies belonged to Aboriginal peoples and that the Crown could legally acquire these lands only by negotiating Treaties (p. 35).


United Nations Documents

Download the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples:

United Nations Declaration On the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

"The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the UN “Outcome Document” provide a framework and a mechanism to support and improve access to justice for Indigenous peoples in Canada" (p.49).

Access to Justice in the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

★ Also visit the UN's Indigenous Issues: Quick Guide

★ Report of Diane Orentlicher, independent expert to update the Set of principles to combat impunity:
Updated Set of principles for the protection and promotion of human rights through action to combat impunity
- Louis Joinet, Set of Principles for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights through Action to Combat Impunity, UN Doc. E/CN.4/Sub.2/1997/20/Rev.1 (1997) (Joinet Principles), was updated by Diane Orentlicher.

Indigenous Peoples - Government Relations