by Jessica O’Reilly
Welcome to our collaborative website!
This website is the joint undertaking of students formerly and presently enrolled in SOC 1012: Truth and Reconciliation, a fully online college-level elective course that allows students to engage in a deep exploration of Canada’s residential school system specifically, Canadian settler colonialism generally, as well as with the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada and the 94 Calls to Action.
The first cohort of students expressed strong feelings of frustration, anger, and sadness that their learning in this course was not a mandatory component of their high school curricula. They expressed an urgent need to share these truths with others, particularly with young people living in Canada. We decided that together, we could make a difference, and that’s how this website came to be.
Each post on this website (with the exception of this one) was written by a student formerly or currently enrolled in SOC 1012. After learning about the TRC and reading each of the 94 Calls to Action carefully, students were asked to select one Call to Action to investigate in detail. Learners were then invited to share their work on this website. They could do so anonymously, using a pseudonym, using their Spirit name, or using part or all of their government name. Whatever they felt most comfortable with. Students also selected the copyright license that best reflected their comfort levels in terms of reuse and future adaptations.
In each post, learners introduce themselves, explain the importance of the Call to Action, provide a progress update, and celebrate the good work that actual people are doing to help support the goals of the Call to Action. Every post ends with a description of where you can go to learn more, and how you can get involved. Some posts are highly critical of the lack of progress to date. Some posts are quite celebratory of specific efforts to move the Call forward in a good way. Even though each post follows a specific framework, the resulting submissions are as unique as the students who’ve created them.
My personal goal for this website is to get it into the hands of as many high school teachers as possible, to start a conversation between post-secondary and high school level learners, and to help educators begin to integrate the Calls to Action into their own teaching practice. I am so excited to see how this project will evolve over time.
If you’d like to get involved or want to learn more, please reach out to me!