The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada believes that for Canada to flourish in the 21st century, reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canada must follow specific principles.

 

The Principles

 

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada believes that for Canada to flourish in the 21st century, reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canada follows these principles:

  • The United Nations' "Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples" provides the framework for reconciliation at all levels and across all sectors of Canadian society.
  • First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples, as the original peoples of this country and as self-determining peoples, have Treaty, constitutional, and human rights that must be recognized and respected.
  • Reconciliation is a process of healing of relationships that requires public truth sharing, apology, and commemoration that acknowledge and redress past harms.
  • Reconciliation requires constructive action on addressing the ongoing legacies of colonialism that have had destructive impacts on Indigenous peoples’ education, cultures and languages, health, child welfare, the administration of justice, and economic opportunities and prosperity.
  • Reconciliation must create a more equitable and inclusive society by closing the gaps in social, health, and economic outcomes that exist between Indigenous and non-Indigenous  Canadians.
  • All Canadians, as Treaty peoples, share responsibility for establishing and maintaining mutually respectful relationships.
  • The perspectives and understandings of Indigenous Elders and Traditional Knowledge-Keepers about the ethics, concepts, and practices of reconciliation are vital to long-term reconciliation.
  • Supporting Indigenous peoples’ cultural revitalization and integrating Indigenous knowledge systems, oral histories, laws, protocols, and connections to the land into the reconciliation process are essential.
  • Reconciliation requires political will, joint leadership, trust-building, accountability, and transparency, as well as a substantial investment of resources.
  • Reconciliation requires sustained public education and dialogue, including youth engagement, about the history and legacy of residential schools, Treaties, and Indigenous rights, as well as the historical and contemporary contributions of Indigenous peoples to Canadian society.