Federation of Ontario Public Libraries

CFLA’s Truth & Reconciliation Committee was organized by utilizing and adapting the medicine wheel framework. This was chosen as the framework through which the Indigenous worldview can be understood. The Committee was divided into four teams with the following responsibilities: The Black Team compiled Best Practices already in existence related to Indigenous peoples of Canada. The White team provided a gap analysis on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Calls to Action and recommends an annual review be to evaluate progress. The Yellow team looked at existing relationships and developed a contact database. Finally, the Red Team envisioned the future by reviewing the existing body of knowledge related to the decolonization of space, access and classification, Indigenous knowledge protection, outreach and service. Information on the medicine wheel used can be found at the Turtle Lodge Journey of the Human Spirit.

We will be focusing on the recommendations made by the White Team, which reports on actions which libraries are or should respond to.

After a process of identification, analysis and prioritization Team White identified:
• Activities for 72 of the 94 Calls to Action (76.5%)
• 174 Activities were suggested based on current or potential good practice
• This good practice can be either Direct Delivery or Supporting the delivery of the Calls
to Action (included in Appendix – White Chapter)
• For 46 of the 94 Calls to Action (48.9%) a priority was identified for library services

Each Call to Action will be identified with it’s relevant recommendation. The following are Priority Level 1 Recommendations which should be adopted immediately.

Call to Action #10

We call on the federal government to draft new Aboriginal education legislation with the full participation and informed consent of Aboriginal peoples. The new legislation would include a commitment to sufficient funding and would incorporate the following principles:
i. Providing sufficient funding to close identified educational achievement gaps within one generation.
ii. Improving education attainment levels and success rates.
iii. Developing culturally appropriate curricula.
iv. Protecting the right to Aboriginal languages, including the teaching of Aboriginal languages as credit courses.
v. Enabling parental and community responsibility, control, and accountability, similar to what parents enjoy in public school systems.
vi. Enabling parents to fully participate in the education of their children.
vii. Respecting and honouring Treaty relationships.

Recommendations

1. Provide support through Public Libraries and School Libraries;
2. Work with local Aboriginal community groups in homework help;
3. Provide support to conversation groups;
4. Ensure culturally, and age-appropriate collections are made available;
5. Provide culturally appropriate programming, involving parents and elders;
6. Develop relevant collections with a focus on local collections and language specific materials;
7. Protect the right to Aboriginal languages including: programming (for example – story time); translation of websites; subject headings & analysis in language(s);
8. Use the principles and approaches of Community-led librarianship to ensure that community needs are identified, prioritised and met;
9. Provide culturally appropriate/relevant information literacy workshops.

Call to Action #12

We call upon the federal, provincial, territorial, and Aboriginal governments to develop culturally appropriate early childhood education programs for Aboriginal families.

Recommendations

1. Provide support through Public Libraries and School Libraries; CFLA-FCAB Truth & Reconciliation Committee Report & Recommendations 20
Canadian Federation of Library Associations-Fédération canadienne des associations de bibliothèques (CFLA-FCAB)
2. Ensure that storytimes support early childhood education programs for Aboriginal families;
3. Offer programming (other than story time) in multiple languages.

Call to Action #62

We call upon the federal, provincial, and territorial governments, in consultation and collaboration with Survivors, Aboriginal peoples,
and educators, to:
i. Make age-appropriate curriculum on residential schools, Treaties, and Aboriginal peoples’ historical and contemporary contributions to Canada a mandatory education requirement for Kindergarten to Grade Twelve students.
ii. Provide the necessary funding to post-secondary institutions to educate teachers on how to integrate Indigenous knowledge and teaching methods into classrooms.
iii. Provide the necessary funding to Aboriginal schools to utilize Indigenous knowledge and teaching methods in classrooms.
iv. Establish senior-level positions in government at the assistant deputy minister level or higher dedicated to Aboriginal content in education.

Recommendations

1. Public and School Libraries to provide school curriculum support;
2. Provide resources which teachers and student teachers can incorporate into Indigenous knowledge and teaching methods.

Call to Action #69

We call upon Library and Archives Canada to:
i. Fully adopt and implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the United Nations Joinet-Orentlicher Principles, as related to Aboriginal peoples’ inalienable right to know the truth about what happened and why, with regard to human rights violations committed against them in the residential schools.
ii. Ensure that its record holdings related to residential schools are accessible to the public.
iii. Commit more resources to its public education materials and programming on residential schools.

Recommendations

1. Support LAC in these initiatives;
2. Collections development; continue with programming, displays; links on library website.

Call to Action #70

We call upon the federal government to provide funding to the Canadian Association of Archivists to undertake, in collaboration with Aboriginal peoples, a national review of archival policies and best practices to:
i. Determine the level of compliance with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the United Nations Joinet Orentlicher Principles, as related to Aboriginal peoples’ inalienable right to know the truth about what happened and why, with regard to human rights violations committed against them in the residential schools.
ii. Produce a report with recommendations for full implementation of these international mechanisms as a reconciliation framework for Canadian archives.

Recommendations

1. Support CAA in these initiatives;
2. Many Public Libraries have local history collections that may be of use;
3. Consider the North (and mountainous BC) and issues of connectivity.