Reflections on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Part Three

In my last post, I shared my own family’s connection to the residential school system and how I struggle to come to terms with my role in the reconciliation process.

The challenge that each of us faces is to find our role in the process of reconciliation. This challenge is by no means an easy one; it will take critical self-reflection, and it will take looking at our systems from a different perspective. I know that we can do it! I also know that if we don’t do it, we risk having the abuses of the past continue to keep us from truly connecting. If we cannot find our role in the process of reconciliation, then fear will continue to control us, and blame and mistrust will uphold the status quo. However, If we act, if we can find our role in reconciliation, then we can build a greater understanding, better partnerships and better friendships with our indigenous community members. If we do this, then we can achieve a safer, more connected community.

The choice that we have is: do we seek to understand to our shared history and our roles in reconciliation, or do we see the process of reconciliation as something that belongs to someone else? Now is the time to make this choice. The truth about the past is fresh in our minds, and the stories shared at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission are available for all to hear.  We ask you to visit the website, explore the stories, connect with them and find your own role. These are small commitments that can lead us down the path to reconciliation. True reconciliation will take decades to achieve, but we must get there and we must be partners in this process.

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About the Author
Alec Stratford
Alec Stratford is a social worker with the City of Edmonton and a member of a specialized Neighbourhood Empowerment Team working in the 118th Ave area. Alec and his partners Constable Kurtis Hauptman and Cassie Smith work with the community to identify and implement ways to reduce and prevent crime and the fear of crime.
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