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In honour of the second annual National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, Xplore has once again reviewed The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 2015 Report with its 94 Calls to Action which aim to redress the legacy of residential schools and advance the process of Canadian reconciliation.

The Call to Action to Corporate Canada, Call #92, includes providing “education for management and staff on the history of Aboriginal peoples.” Last year, Xplore introduced training on Indigenous history and culture. In addition, employees also had opportunities to meet directly with Chief Patricia Bernard, of the Madawaska Maliseet First Nation (in New Brunswick) who facilitated a constructive dialogue on Indigenous history and reconciliation. Many employees were inspired to further their education on these important topics, which is encouraged and supported.

One staff member, Johanne, recently completed the 4 Seasons of Reconciliation for Canadians training offered by the First Nations University of Canada and told us about her experience.

The course was free for one year from the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

“I did it over the course of a weekend,” she said.

The course is still available here at the reasonable price of $231.

She believes that the journey to reconciliation is a collective responsibility and one that all Canadians share.

“Every Canadian should learn about the difficult truths and the legacies of our colonial past. The residential school policies had a cruel and devastating generational impact on Indigenous communities and their people. We need to learn about that part of our history, acknowledge the harm that was caused and take the opportunity to learn more about Indigenous Canadians’ culture and traditions,” she said.

She wanted to know more, deepen her understanding of what happened, what reconciliation is about, and what more she can do.

She thought the course was a great extension of Xplore’s employee training and supports call to action number 92.

“The content is very much aligned with the course we have and goes into more depth. There’s more information on pre-colonization times, what the world was like for Indigenous communities at that time, and then you get into the impact of colonization, the various treaties negotiated across Canada, the Indian Act, and the Residential Schools policies that caused so much harm, as well as the generational trauma that still exists,” she said.

The First Nations University of Canada is a First Nations-owned post-secondary institution with a campus in Regina. They partnered with corporate sponsors to offer the 4 Seasons of Reconciliation course for free for a limited time. If you missed it, don’t worry – there are still many free learning opportunities available. Click here to check out the Government of Canada’s Indigenous Learning Series which includes workshops, courses, podcasts, videos, and more.

“If you have knowledge of what happened, you can be more respectful of the various points of view. The journey to reconciliation is not a clear path forward, but getting educated on what happened is a small part of the contribution that each Canadian is responsible for and can do,” Johanne said.

She said she’s had her “Every Child Matters” sign on her lawn since the beginning of September and that she’ll be wearing her Orange Shirt all day tomorrow.

Every Child Matters lawn sign

“For me, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is a day of remembrance but also one to celebrate Indigenous Survivors. This is the moment of taking stock of the negative part of it and turning the focus toward the progress we’re making as a country as we walk together the path forward to reconciliation,” she said. “Tomorrow is a chance for us to be part of the change, to remember, acknowledge, and as a collective move forward to try to make a better country.”

Join us in a discussion on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Tell us in the comments how you plan to observe the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.