12 Ways to Engage in Truth and Reconciliation at Western

12 Things You Can Do Right Now to Promote “Truth and Reconciliation”

Since the release of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Report in 2015, many people have been working to address the Calls to Action, and build capacity at Western for learning these truths and engaging in reconciliation. The news on Friday, May 28 of the discovery of the remains of 215 children at the site of a former Indian Residential School in Kamloops, BC, has prompted many people to recognize that we are still very much in the truth stage - and there is so much more work to be done. 

We compiled a small list of resources and actions you can do right now to engage in, and promote, Truth and Reconciliation work below. Once you have reviewed any of these items, consider sharing and discussing with colleagues, friends, family and on social media. We have also created a resource that gives backgroud on the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, and Engaging NDTR in the Classroom access the 2021 version here (2022 forthcoming). As well, we have created a resource on "Beyond NDTR:ReconciliACTION," here

  1. Review the Truth and Reconciliation reports, archives, Calls to Action and educational resources.

  2. Listen to former Senator and Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Murray Sinclair’s statement on the discovery at the former Residential School site in Kamloops

  3. Read the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

  4. Listen to the Mbwaach’idiwag podcast episode entitled “Colonial Problems Rebranded as Indigenous Issues.”


mbwaach'idiwag · "Colonial Problems rebranded as 'Indigenous Issues'"

  1. Read Western’s Guide for Working with Indigenous Students, and consider the list of things you can do right now, on p. 18.

  2. Join Biindigen, Western’s Indigenous Learning Circle 
    Here, Western staff and faculty learn with and from Indigenous Peoples on issues pertaining to Indigenization, decolonization, and reconciliation through discussion and various mediums including books, documentaries, and podcasts.

    For Indigenous History Month, Biindigen created an Indigenous History Month Challenge full of more resources and ways to engage everyday in the month of June.

  3. Review The Yellowhead Institute’s Calls to Action on Accountability: A 2021 Status Update on Reconciliation and their 5x5 Review: How do we Solve Structural Racism

  4. Browse the Think Indigenous podcast and enjoy an episode.

  5. Read 21 Things You May Not Have Know About the Indian Act by Bob Joseph

  6. Watch this Ted Talk by Starleigh Grass: “Reconciliation and Education: Lessons to remember before thinking about, talking about, and teaching about Residential schools and reconciliation.”
    In her talk, Starleigh refers to the First Nations Education Steering Committee’s First People’s Principles of Learning

  7. Browse this overview and sign up for access to “The Path” modules – which are a set of accredited online introductory modules that explore First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples of Canada, the history of Indigenous peoples and relationships with settlers, the British Crown, and Canada.

  8. Read Universities Canada’s 2020 report, Empowering Indigenous students and advancing reconciliation