PERSONAL RECONCILIATION SERIES:
Understanding our past, owning our present, being actively accountable for the future.
Reconciliation on Canada Day 2021
Reconciliation is about removing the systems of oppression that have been placed against the Indigenous peoples of Canada.
Reconciliation is not the job of governments alone. Individual Canadians must do their part in reconciliation for our country. We must make the personal effort to educate ourselves to understand our past and how it has brought us to this point. We each need to own how our present circumstances, attitudes, and actions can either perpetuate systemic injustices or remove the barriers to reconciliation. Regardless of our actions or inaction in our present, each of us is accountable for the future. The decisions we make today will shape the days and years to come. We can and must be and do better than our predecessors. By taking action on reconciliation, we can create a Canada the future can and should be proud of.
All that being said, it can be challenging for an individual to know where to start.
We here at Balsom have been discussing amongst ourselves what personal and individual reconciliation looks like. From wearing orange in solidarity, marching in protest or attending vigils, and writing letters to our government leaders. As non-Indigenous people, how do we be good allies to our Indigenous friends and neighbours in a way that is respectful and has meaningful progress? We start by listening and then taking action on what we have heard. Indigenous leaders and Elders here in the RMWB and all over Canada have asked Canadians to reflect upon how each individual can work towards reconciliation.
Team Balsom is listening, and we will be doing our part to amplify this call for personal acts of reconciliation using our company’s platforms. We have experienced the overwhelming feeling of needing to do something about this issue but not knowing where to start. If we are feeling that way, we know many others must be feeling it too. So, Team Balsom will create a blog series on Individual Reconciliation that we hope will be a helpful guide for our non-Indigenous readers, partners, friends, and families to inform their own acts of personal reconciliation.
The first personal act of reconciliation that Indigenous people are calling for is for all Canadians to read the Truth and Reconciliation Report and the 94 Calls to Action published in 2015. Knowledge is the first step towards understanding our past. Understanding leads to action in our present.
To honour this call from our Indigenous friends, starting today on Canada day, Balsom will be posting on our Facebook and Twitter pages 94 Calls to Action over 94 hours. Each post will contain the text of just one call to action from the Truth and Reconciliation report. We encourage you, our followers and readers, to read and amplify the Call to Action that you can start a conversation with. Share or create your own post. Start a discussion with family and friends about why the Call to Action is essential in removing the barriers to reconciliation for our country.
All the Calls to Action images will be available here starting on Canada Day, July 1st, 2021, for individuals to download and share the actions that are most important to them, so you will not have to wait 43 hours to share Call to Action number 43. Instead, you can start the conversation right away.
We hope that these images of the Calls to Action will help others start the conversation and encourage them to read all 94 Calls to Action and the whole Truth and Reconciliation report.
It is a small step but a significant step towards understanding and creating meaningful reconciliation with our Indigenous communities to grow and prosper as a country together, making a future Canada that our present and future selves can be proud of.
- Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action: https://ehprnh2mwo3.exactdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Calls_to_Action_English2.pdf
- The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR) Reports: https://nctr.ca/records/reports/
- Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Final Report: https://www.mmiwg-ffada.ca/final-report/
Click on the image to download the full size.