IRPP Releases Report on Indigenous Peoples, Canada and the Possibility of Reconciliation

irpp_logoOn November 17, 2016, the Institute for Research on Public Policy released a report by David Newhouse entitled Indigenous Peoples, Canada and the Possibility of Reconciliation.  The report highlights an independent view of progress that has been achieved since the 1970’s, what will be required for true reconciliation to occur, and the importance of Canada’s public leaders to spearhead reconciliation efforts.


Reconciliation is now a Canadian political project that is moving from words to action. Its origins are in the 1998 Statement of Reconciliation, delivered by Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development Jane Stewart in response to the 1996 Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples. The statement framed reconciliation as an “ongoing process” and “a process of renewal.” It has taken almost two decades — from the 1998 Statement of Reconciliation, to the 2008 Statement of Apology for Indian Residential Schools, to the December 2015 release of the report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) — for this project to become an important part of the Canadian public policy landscape.

The framing of the recommendations of the TRC as calls to action was a brilliant move that created a policy frame for Canadians, their governments and their institutions to use to guide concrete efforts toward reconciliation. A large number of governments, agencies and organizations are now taking steps to address particular calls to action within their mandates.

Should we be optimistic? I believe that, more than at any other time in Canadian history, we should. Of course, huge challenges lie ahead. Tackling them means we will have to confront our history, our governance processes and our understandings of Indigenous peoples and their capacity to govern themselves. The challenge rests with public policy-makers and educators, in particular.

— David Newhouse from “Indigenous Peoples, Canada and the possibility of Reconciliation”


The following infographic summarizes the main pillars of reconciliation (Source: irpp.org/research-studies/insight-no11/):

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Honouring the Truth, Reconciling for the Future

In July 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada released its final report.  The following link is to a summary of the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.

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Public servants, administrators, and leaders throughout Canada who are interested in better understanding the history of residential schools, the impact that these schools had on Indigenous peoples, the ongoing legacy of this history, and what should be done for our collective future should take the time to familiarize themselves with the content of this report summary.


Together, Canadians must do more than just talk about reconciliation; we must learn how to practice reconciliation in our everyday lives — within ourselves and our families, and in our communities, governments, places of worship, schools, and workplaces.  To do so constructively, Canadians must remain committed to the ongoing work of establishing and maintaining respectful relationships.  – Truth and Reconciliation Final Report


Renewing relationships with Indigenous Peoples: IPAC’s National Year of Dialogue 2017

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Municipalities, provincial governments, federal departments, universities and others are mobilizing across the country in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action and the commitments of political leaders to enter into new and better relationships with Indigenous peoples: relationships built on recognition, respect and partnership.

IPAC will contribute to the development of these relationships with a year-long focus on dialogue and learning in 2017, Canada’s 150th anniversary.

The nation-wide project consists of a series of regional dialogues between public servants, administrators and leaders of First Nation, Metis, and Inuit government and institutions, focussed on one key question: How can we, as a public administration community, transform ourselves and in the spirit of reconciliation, support better relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous governments and people?

The goal is not simply to have an event, but to create the foundation for ongoing relationships through shared learning, collaboration and partnership.

In particular, the National Year of Dialogue aims to achieve or make substantial progress toward:

  • Greater awareness by public servants across all governments about the issues and challenges facing Indigenous peoples, and why
  • Better understanding by non-Indigenous public servants about their professional roles and responsibilities in regards to Indigenous peoples
  • Greater awareness within the Indigenous community of IPAC and the role it can play in helping build relationships and networks, and in sharing expertise
  • Opportunities for future projects and partnerships.

The aim is to have one dialogue session in every province and territory organized and hosted by IPAC Regional Groups, their local universities and private sector partners, as well as a national event held in association with IPAC’s National Conference in August 2017 in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.

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The IPAC Saskatchewan Regional Group will be participating in this initiative throughout 2017.  ImPACt Sask will be publishing articles, interviews, and stories of interest throughout 2017 that will shed more light on this important year of dialogue.