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12 Easy Steps For Canadians To Follow If They’re Serious About Reconciliation

It starts with land and ends with showing the hell up.

Here’s the thing, I am not a huge fan of the current way reconciliation is being conceptualized in Canada. In fact, I kind of hate it.

Look, at its root, reconciliation is about bringing us, Indigenous nations, and you, Canadians, together in a symbolic move forward beyond all the bullshit of the past.

Canada, hear me out. Reconciliation is a possibility, but it ain’t gonna happen before we resolve some key issues.

1. Admit that Canada – and Canadians – are still colonial occupiers of Indigenous lands.

Canada is not post-colonial, Canada is not de-colonized, and Canadians most definitely still greatly benefit from the theft and occupation of our lands.

Canada is a settler colonial state; an illegal, militarized occupation that violates local Indigenous & international law #RememberThis

Once you truly understand this, the rest of the steps in this program actually become pretty easy to accomplish.

2. Put an end to comprehensive land claims, also known as land surrenders.

3. Return all unused Crown lands to their respective Indigenous nations.

4. Negotiate restitution for lands and resources that can't be returned.

5. End resource extraction on disputed lands until boundary issues are resolved.

6. Abolish the Indian Act and replace it with complete Indigenous autonomy.

7. Dismantle Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) and hand power over to Indigenous nations.

8. Hand over control of law and justice in our communities to our communities.

9. Actually implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

We support UNDRIP. Oh wait, no we don't, adopting it into Canadian law ‘unworkable’. Get your story straight Canada.

After whining about UNDRIP for who knows how long, Canada finally signed on. Now what?

Well Canada, you should fully adopt UNDRIP into Canadian law. Alas, Canada has made it very clear it isn’t interested in actually implementing UNDRIP and in turn has made it clear that Canada isn’t actually committed to real reconciliation.

10. Implement all Truth and Reconciliation Commission calls to action.

11. Establish the nation-to-nation diplomacy we keep asking for.

12. Check your people.