Truth and Reconciliation (by Adam Goodwin)

Truth and Reconciliation

by Adam Goodwin | 2017 | Last Updated: January 28, 2017

Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement

*Note: I am not an expert on this topic. The below is simply a summary of what I have learned over the past years. There are much more comprehensive and accurate sources of information available publicly. If you read an inaccuracy, please contact me immediately so I can rectify the error.

In 2006, after years of discussions, advocacy, and agreements, the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement was announced. The Agreement, in part, awarded $2 Billion to the over 80,000 Indigenous removed from their families and placed into Canada’s Indian residential schools. Additionally, the Agreement included the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).

Truth and Reconciliation Commission 

As part of the Agreement, the TRC was established in 2008. The TRC’s work included understanding the purpose of the residential schools, and understanding and acknowledging the past through truth telling. The focus on the process was not to discuss the issue, forgive the government (and colonialists) for their harm and policies, and then move on; it was to acknowledge what had happened and to find a path to change.

The TRC, mostly, focused on the residential schools.  However, it, whether by accident or not, has been framed, in some minds, as suggesting that residential schools is the only issue that needs to be reconciled with Indigenous peoples. The relationships between colonialists and Indigenous peoples are complex, still exist today, and is culturally and politically structured (i.e., it is not just a time period in the past of injustice). The issues go beyond residential schools.

After six years of work, in 2015, the TRC issued 94 Calls to Action, divided into two categories: Legacy and Reconciliation. Legacy Calls to Action focus on the child welfare, education, language, culture, health, and justice. Reconciliation Calls to Action focused on bringing the federal and provincial governments Indigenous nations of Canada into a state of reconciliation. For example, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People was adopted by the United nations General Assembly in mid-2007.

TRC Resources

As I have been reading and learning about (again, I am, by no means, an expert), I have been collecting a few resources. I copy and paste these below to share with others who are looking for more information. I will continue to add resources I come across that helped me better understand the TRC – if you have any to share, please paste below!

Again, these are just a few resources. If you have more, please post in the comments section!

Your Call To Action

What are your thoughts about the TRC, its findings, and its Calls to Action? Share your thoughts by commenting below or sending me an email.

Further Reading

Based on your reading of this blog post, you may also be interested in reading another post: Navajo Nation – a Basketball Elder.


These are one person’s ideas, thoughts, and opinions. What do you think? We welcome you to share your feedback, knowledge, ideas, and/or opinions.

Adam Goodwin is a Canadian who has lived and worked in Africa, Europe, and North America. He has two degrees in Kinesiology. He is a proud introvert and silent leader. He has traveled to over 50 global cities on most continents, and has worked in, with, and across all three sectors (business, non-profit, and public). He has family and friends around the world. He currently works with one3 Consulting.

This blog post does not reflect the opinion, viewpoints, and/or policy of my employers.

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