Reconciliation and Education | Starleigh Grass | TEDxWestVancouverED

I'm a huge Twitter nerd and if you are also on Twitter I encourage you to engage with to ongoing conversations now or after the talk one is hashtag my reconciliation which is a number of voices exploring what reconciliation means to them and the second one is hashtag read the TRC report it's a huge victory to me personally to be addressing such a large audience about the topic of residential schools and reconciliation and I'll tell you why as a child my mother who was a residential school survivor often tried to educate other people about her truth and her truth too often was denied minimized or diminished so the fact that I'm welcomed here been able to speak openly without being silenced or shamed says a lot to me about positive change within my lifetime and it gives me great hope for the future of Aboriginal and non-aboriginal relationships in this country the photo that you see here behind me was taken this summer by my mother during a hike that we took my 16 year old son joined us on this hike this hike is the the line form that this photo was taken from it's called the canoe that brought our people here and it's a part of our oral history it's very important to me it's take my son to different places in our territory and teach him about our oral history the next generation represents the link between the past and the future and he's raised with the understanding that he has a responsibility to carry forward our oral history and our culture to the next generation my reconciliation would be an education system we're all adults recognize and celebrate and honor the role that our children play in our families and our societies my reconciliation would involve an education system where all First Nations children are held to high expectations and are provided with the skills and prerequisites to succeed in the 21st century my reconciliation would also involve respectful representation of Aboriginal people within the public education system there are lot of resources to do so such as the First Peoples principles of learning which the BC new BC curriculum was actually it's a key pillar of the new BC curriculum if you have if you aren't already familiar with the First Peoples principles of learning I encourage you to check them out for the past two years I have been involved in the development of finesse residential schools and Reconciliation resources and during this journey I have met a lot of First Nations community members as well as teachers who have come to me and shared with me their deep commitment towards teaching other people about residential schools and Reconciliation and their belief that there needs to be more awareness on this issue and I'm really inspired by all the people who have taken the time to share their aspirations about the future with me during the development of our resources the advisory team came to understand a number of powerful concepts about teaching about residential schools and reconciliation and we embedded these concepts into the curriculum I'll share with you today the three concepts that stood out the most for me the first concept is that when thinking about talking about or teaching about residential schools and Reconciliation it's important to remember that before contact before residential schools we as indigenous people had our own rich bodies of knowledge we had our own understandings about the relationship between somebody who has knowledge and somebody who is receiving knowledge we had our own our own systems of passing knowledge on and it's important to do this because first of all it starts things on a positive note where Aboriginal people aren't portrayed negatively from the get-go rather it celebrates and honors our strengths the second reason why it's important to do this is because unless you understand that something of incredible value existed before residential schools you can never truly understand what survivor what was taken from survivors during residential schools when we talk about revitalization we're often talking about linguistic and cultural revitalization the revitalization of those bodies of knowledge those methods of passing knowledge on and revitalization as part of reconciliation so I would say unless you understand and can celebrate the body of knowledge that existed before residential schools you can never truly understand what reconciliation means the second thing that is important when thinking about talking about or teaching about residential schools is to celebrate the strength of survivors survivors are too often portrayed in the media as passive recipients of government genocide all policy but when and this advice actually came from my friend and author Nicola Campbell who when talking to survivors focused on their strengths how did you survive in school what ways did you use to resist when you were in school and then that way it highlights the agency of the survivors and it's also important to celebrate the courage that the survivors had when they began legal proceedings against the government of Canada and against the churches and kick-started the process of reconciliation that we're in right now the third thing to remember when thinking about talking about or teaching about residential schools is to always be forward-looking towards reconciliation the act of teaching about residential schools are learning about residential schools yourself as an educator is an act of reconciliation in and of itself in terms of broader institutional change the Truth and Reconciliation recently released the executive summary of its final report and I encourage you to familiarize yourself with the TRC report and its recommendations it outlines a set of broad institutional changes that will happen and we all have a role to play in reconciliation broad institutional changes that need to happen in order to achieve reconciliation at the institutional level I have just one thought I'd like to leave you with those are my three big things to remember when thinking about reconciliation but my big thought that I'd like to leave you with is that we're at the very beginning of something that could be big Chief Justice Inc Claire said it took us a hundred and fifty years to get into this mess and it'll take us a hundred and fifty years to get out right now we're at the very beginning of this movement called reconciliation it could either create lasting meaningful institutional change and take us towards a more just and peaceful Canada or it could fizzle out the degree to which this movement is successful depends on people like you and me the channel yah you

7 thoughts on “Reconciliation and Education | Starleigh Grass | TEDxWestVancouverED

  1. Thank you for all the good work you have done to bring us along in BC, to become a place of reconciliation. M.y hopes are high.

  2. Emergency services, With Love !; YOU " GOTTA LOVE " S.G.S. ( U.N.O. – INT. ) ; Universal High-Tech., International Civil Defence Systems. For the real world ! / For each & every morning ! Public safety & security ! / Emergency Police Service, Emergency Fire Services, Emergency Medical Services ! For Serving Our Communities Better ! U.N.- Nations " Moving Forward Together " //// ( THE United Commonwealth Of Nations. / 21st. Century International Technological Development Associations. To Better Serve The Global Public Interest. )

  3. just makes me sick that the churches and canadian goverment and r.c.m.p all played a role in residental schools shame on canada!!!

  4. this requires broad institutional changes for sure, esp. gov't departments at all levels. politics plays a huge rule…

  5. I heard Chief Justice Murray Sinclair in Whistler. He said (I paraphrase), "Truth and reconciliation is a two step process, and if you think the Truth part was difficult….." Working to change the school curriculum – wow!

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