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Report finds gaps in understanding of impacts of Canadian residential schools

UVic researcher helps craft report tracking state of Indigenous reconciliation in Canada
Ry Moran, a University of Victoria associate librarian of reconciliation, was one of the researchers involved in developing the Canadian Reconciliation Barometer’s first report. (Photo courtesy of Nardella Photography/University of Victoria)

There remains a gap in the understanding of the harms inflicted by residential schools between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.

That’s one of the key findings in the Canadian Reconciliation Barometer’s first report, released on Feb. 14, which also found much more needs to be done to educate Canadians about the impact of residential schools, as well as Indigenous peoples’ experiences more broadly.

Indigenous respondents didn’t believe groups that harmed Indigenous peoples have shown remorse, provided sincere apologies or accepted responsibility, the report findings show.

The Canadian Reconciliation Barometer also aims to bring attention to calls from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC) report. Ry Moran, a University of Victoria associate librarian of reconciliation, said the TRC made it clear that monitoring and data transparency is paramount for tracking how the country is doing on reconciling with Indigenous communities.

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“This ongoing monitoring is essential to ensure the vital work of closing the inequities present in society continues to be informed by the sound information and data,” Moran said in a news release.

Other takeaways from the barometer report include the view from Indigenous peoples that true nation-to-nation relationships have yet to be built, lacking progress in personal outcome equality, and significant concern that Indigenous cultures are not sufficiently thriving today.

The report was developed by a team of Indigenous and non-Indigenous researchers in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action.

“This barometer represents an effort to better determine how Canada is fairing in the establishment and maintenance of mutually respectful relationships. It shows us that we still have a lot of work to do,” said Moran, who was also a founding director of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation.

The report polled 3,225 Indigenous and non-Indigenous people on 13 indicators of reconciliation, reviewed what residential school survivors said about reconciliation in their statements to the TRC and ran focus groups with stakeholders.

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About the Author: Saanich News Staff

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