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Indigenous Studies

Truth and Reconciliation Commission

This page gathers together core documents and resources drawn on by the Truth and Reconciliation Report. If you have suggestions, please contact:

Sara McDowell, s.mcdowell@utoronto.ca

United Nations Declaration on the Right of Indigenous Peoples

The TRC calls for the adoption and implementation of UNDRIP. Excerpted from the Calls to Action:

Canadian Governments and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People 

43. We call upon federal, provincial, territorial, and municipal governments to fully adopt and implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as the framework for reconciliation.

44. We call upon the Government of Canada to develop a national action plan, strategies, and other concrete measures to achieve the goals of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Royal Proclamation and Covenant of Reconciliation

Royal Proclamation and Covenant of Reconciliation

45. We call upon the Government of Canada, on behalf of all Canadians, to jointly develop with Aboriginal peoples a Royal Proclamation of Reconciliation to be issued by the Crown. The proclamation would build on the Royal Proclamation of 1763 and the Treaty of Niagara of 1764, and reaffirm the nation-to-nation relationship between Aboriginal peoples and the Crown. The proclamation would include, but not be limited to, the following commitments:

i. Repudiate concepts used to justify European sovereignty over Indigenous lands and peoples such as the Doctrine of Discovery and terra nullius.

ii. Adopt and implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as the framework for reconciliation.

iii. Renew or establish Treaty relationships based on principles of mutual recognition, mutual respect, and shared responsibility for maintaining those relationships into the future.

iv. Reconcile Aboriginal and Crown constitutional and legal orders to ensure that Aboriginal peoples are full partners in Confederation, including the recognition and integration of Indigenous laws and legal traditions in negotiation and implementation processes involving Treaties, land claims, and other constructive agreements. 

The Toronto Purchase Settlement

Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples

Post-Secondary Education

We call upon the federal government to develop with Aboriginal groups a joint strategy to eliminate educational and employment gaps between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canadians. (TRC Calls for Action 7)

Many TRC Calls for Action pertain to education. The following are a few excerpts with implications for higher education-please read the complete document to understand the full picture. 

Many calls for action include a call for education for professionals working in fields including social workers and others who conduct child-welfare investigations (1), health-care workers (24), lawyers (27), public servants at all levels of government (57), clergy (60), teachers (62-63), journalists and media personnel (86), coaches, trainers, and sports officials (90), managers and corporate employees (92). Many of these professions are taught at the University of Toronto.

The specific nature of the call for education differs by profession, but generally include Aboriginal history, current realities, and culture "including the history and legacy of residential schools, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Treaties and Aboriginal rights, and Indigenous teachings and practices. This will require skills-based training in intercultural competency, conflict resolution, human rights, and anti-racism."

Further calls for action:

7. We call upon the federal government to develop with Aboriginal groups a joint strategy to eliminate educational and employment gaps between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canadians.

11. We call upon the federal government to provide adequate funding to end the backlog of First Nations students seeking a post-secondary education.

16. We call upon post-secondary institutions to create university and college degree and diploma programs in Aboriginal languages. (Note: the University of Toronto currently has courses in Anishinaabemowin, Oneida and Inuktitut. 

65. We call upon the federal government, through the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, and in collaboration with Aboriginal peoples, post-secondary institutions and educators, and the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation and its partner institutions, to establish a national research program with multi-year funding to advance understanding of reconciliation.