Truth and Reconciliation Resources
by Aften Thiessen, Sessional Instructor
Last year I had the privilege of co-teaching a class where we were able to learn more about Truth and Reconciliation. One of the ways we learned was by going on fieldtrip tours of St. Mary’s Former Residential School in Mission and having Sto:lo Leader, Naxaxalhts’I (also called by the English name Sonny McHalsie) share with us stories about his people’s experiences of the school.
One of the other things we did in class was a Truth and Reconciliation panel. The fall semester panel was made up of Temera Millar of the Lil’Wat Nation (southern Coast Mountains region of the Interior of BC), Daniel Tourville of the Moose Cree First Nation (Moose Factory, Ontario), and Betty Wilton, a CBC student who had done her internship in the area of Indigenous Relations. It was powerful to listen to our sisters and brother in Christ share about what Truth and Reconciliation means today, and how our conversation around this issue might coincide with secular conversations and how they diverge as we all seek to follow Jesus faithfully and whole-heartedly where He has placed us.
Something that has come up in multiple conversations I have had with Indigenous believers is how they are expected to often share their stories and educate others on the history of Residential Schools and other injustices that have happened to Indigenous people in Canada. They have expressed how difficult this can be as often this “history” doesn’t feel like history – it is the story of their loved ones – their parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. With this in mind, I asked the panelist to put together a resource list so that we could help to educate ourselves rather than expecting our Indigenous friends to do so.
From Temera Millar
- Inconvenient Indian by Thomas King
- One Church Many Tribes by Richard Twiss
- The Grizzlies
- We Were Children
- Indian Horse
From Daniel Tourville
- Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden
From Betty Wilton
- Shalom and the Community of Creation by Randy Woodley
- Common Word (a collaboration between Mennonite Church Canada and Canadian Mennonite University) offers a curated collection of books, videos and more about settler and indigenous relations. There are a lot of free materials and an affordable membership option that allows you to borrow books as well: https://www.commonword.ca/Browse/8118?sort=random