A B.C. author who wanted 1,000 people to take up the challenge to read the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) summary report has already surpassed that goal. Alloway Library is passing the challenge on to the TWU community.
The TRC summary report was released in June 2015. It's just under 380 pages long and documents the history and legacy of Canada's residential school system, which the report says is "best described as 'cultural genocide."The report also includes 94 calls to action with the aim of repairing the harm of residential schools while also moving forward with reconciliation.
Jennifer Manuel, from Duncan, B.C., launched an online campaign, the TRC Reading Challenge, to have people pledge to read or begin reading the novel-length report by National Aboriginal Day on June 21.
Alloway Library has the TRC summary report entitled, Honouring the truth, reconciling for the future: summary of the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada online, and it is widely available on the internet."It's one thing to say you're listening and it's another to actually try and show that you're listening," said Manuel, who has worked as a treaty archivist and school teacher. "If we care about our country, if we care about our fellow citizens, we should all be putting down whatever we're reading and read the TRC report before we continue reading anything else."
There are three underlying principles behind the TRC Challenge and they feature prominently on the challenge website:From CBC.ca
- You care genuinely about the relationship between aboriginal and non-aboriginal people in Canada.
- You believe that improving this relationship requires meaningful, respectful, mutual dialogue, and that you cannot contribute to this dialogue unless you have first listened to the truths expressed by First Nations people.
- You prefer to read the TRC Report yourself, rather than letting others interpret it for you, especially since they may not have actually read it themselves.
At the TRC Reading Challenge website, Manuel explains that taking the challenge, "illustrates a commitment to the three statements described above, but it also demonstrates to the First Nations people of Canada that there are people listening. For all the cruel and ignorant comments ever made, for all those who do not care, for all those who don’t see how it affects them, these pledges try to offer something more hopeful.
The TRC Reading Challenge page has complete social media links to help those who make the commitment keep their commitment and follow the progress of others.