December 15, 2020 marks a full five years since the release of the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.
It was a momentous day that saw residential school Survivors, their families, and representatives of the institutions responsible for overseeing the horrors of Canada’s Indian residential school system gather in Ottawa to chart a new path for the future guided by the Commission’s 94 Calls to Action. Governments committed to work with provincial, territorial, and municipal counterparts to “fully implement the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.” But five years later, that commitment has not materialized.
In 2020, a tumultuous year for many reasons, our analysis reveals that just 8 Calls to Action have been implemented, this is down from 9 in 2019. Ultimately, we find that Canada is failing residential school Survivors and their families.
Why did it take the profoundly disturbing revelations of thousands of unmarked graves being found on the grounds of residential schools across the country to see Canada begin to make reconciliation a priority? And what does it mean that the Calls to Action that Canada did complete were also arguably the easiest, most of the symbolic gestures we allude to as “low hanging fruit” in this year’s report?