Reconciliation Barometer measures the work left to do 

By Dave Baxter

Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

A new report is hoping to give Canadians a better idea of what progress has been made in this country towards reconciliation with Indigenous people and what work still needs to be done to move towards that goal.

The Canadian Reconciliation Barometer was created to measure progress toward reconciliation with Indigenous people in Canada.

“The walk towards reconciliation will be a long one and lead us down many paths,” Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Manitoba, and the project’s principal investigator Dr.

Katherine Starzyk said in a release on Tuesday. “Our report suggests we have begun our walk, there are some bright spots in our findings, and that we have a lot of work ahead of us.”

According to Starzyk, the report highlights “gaps in understanding” between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Canada about the history of residential schools, and the way that past and present governments and institutions in Canada have treated Indigenous people.

One example in the report highlights that while both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in general agree that residential schools and past governments in Canada have harmed Indigenous peoples, there’s a “worrisome gap” in understanding between the groups of the extent of that harm and its lasting impacts on people and communities.

“The implication of this finding is that we need to continue to invest in education about residential schools as well as Indigenous peoples experiences in Canada more broadly,” Starzyk said.

The study also shows that in general Indigenous people do not think that we have built true nation-to-nation relationships between Indigenous nations and the governments in Canada.

Indigenous respondents also did not believe groups who have harmed Indigenous peoples have “showed remorse, provided sincere apologies, or accepted responsibility.”

“People in Canada are learning about this horrific history and the inequalities that exist, however there is still so much more work needed in education and policies,” Academic and Research Director at the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation Brenda Gunn said.

“Having a measure of the Canadian public’s perceptions on progress toward Reconciliation is a key tool to guide policymakers in their decisions to support reconciliation.”

The report was developed by a team of both Indigenous and non-Indigenous researchers who polled 3,225 Indigenous and non-Indigenous people on 13 indicators of reconciliation.

– Dave Baxter is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the Winnipeg Sun. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.



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