In 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada released its final report, with ninety-four calls to action, and Justin Trudeau was elected to great gusts of hope that we might finally confront the horror of our history.
In the time since, the process of reconciliation between Canada and its First Nations has stalled, repeating the cycles of overpromising and underdelivering that have marred their relationship from the beginning. The much-vaunted commitment to “Nation to Nation” negotiation has been summarily abandoned. The National Inquiry into Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls—another Trudeau election promise—has been plagued by resignations, inertia, and accusations of general ineffectiveness. Nonetheless, the acknowledgment is spreading. No level of government has mandated the practice; it is spreading of its own accord.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission report of 2015 described Canadian colonization as a conquest with two major thrusts: the starvation of indigenous groups, and the attempt to erase indigenous languages and religious practices.
READ: Canada’s Impossible Acknowledgment | The New Yorker