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Truth and Reconciliation

This guide aims to direct child welfare staff to resources that will enhance their understandings of colonial policies that impact Indigenous families and communities and illustrate pathways to allyship.

          "On September 30th and every day between, it is our collective work
to ensure 
that reconciliation is an understanding of action. It is conscious,
non-performative engagement that builds upon relationship, education, and a move
from unlearning to relearning on a macro level. You and I; all our relations, gather
good minds to honour both survivors of these so called 'schools', and those young
ones who never made it home."

– Julia Jamieson, FNIM Holistic Practice Director, OACAS


About this Guide

This guide aims to support OACAS's efforts to centre truth and reconciliation in all aspects of the work within the child welfare sector. The intention of this guide is to direct child welfare staff and agencies to resources that will increase their awareness of the historical context and ongoing colonial policies that impact First Nations, Inuit and Métis families and communities such as the Indian Act, Residential Schools, the Sixties Scoop, and Millennium Scoop. Additionally, this guide will illustrate ways that child welfare staff can act as allies with First Nations, Inuit and Métis families to support the reconciliation process by countering colonial policies and practices in the child welfare system.

Further guidance can be found within the Reconciliation and Equity Framework: A Guide for Child Welfare Leaders accessible on the OACAS members site (Note: login to myOACAS required to access), as well as on the ANCFSAO website. 

Disclaimer: This is an evolving guide; thus, new resources will continue to be added as they are identified and/or released, and changes will be implemented as more up-to-date information becomes available. 

Content Warning

This guide details disturbing truths surrounding experiences of residential schools, the sixties scoop inclusive of violence, death, suicide, genocide, abuse, racism, and the child welfare system. It is advised that before engaging in the material emotional supports be made readily available. The impacts of colonization on Indigenous persons on Turtle Island continues to have intergenerational impact.

Please note that the following are available…

Kids Help Phone (toll free): 1-800-668-6868 |
Residential School Survivor Support Line: 1-866-925-4419
NAN Hope Line: 1-844-626-4673 |
Hope For Wellness Helpline: 1-855-242-3310 |

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission

The following information comes from the OACAS webpage "First Nation, Métis and Inuit Services":

On June 2, 2015, Justice Murray Sinclair released the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Summary Report. The report, which includes 94 recommendations, comes ahead of a final report that will be released later this year. The aim of the Commission and its report is to address the continuing legacy of the residential school system and "to guide and inspire a process of truth and healing leading towards reconciliation..."

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission's findings and recommendations are especially relevant to child welfare systems in Canada. The Commission directly relates the overrepresentation of Indigenous youth in child welfare today to the "intractable legacies of residential schools." Several pages of the summary report look at current provincial child welfare systems in some detail. In addition, the report's first five "calls to action" are directed at the child welfare system.

To access the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Calls to Action visit this page. 

Other Resources