A Frustrating Stalemate: NWAC President Carol McBride Speaks Out
GATINEAU, Que. – On the third National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) raises its voice, demanding urgent action to resume and complete the implementation of the 94 Calls to Action outlined by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). NWAC President Carol McBride expressed her frustration, stating, “Here we are, eight long years later, and only a handful of those Calls have been fulfilled. The work to enact them appears to have stalled. And some of the simplest actions have been left untouched.”
A Broken Promise: The Stalled Progress
Following the release of the TRC’s final report, there was a sense of hope that reconciliation efforts would intensify. The Prime Minister had committed to addressing all 94 Calls to Action. However, the reality paints a different picture. Only 13 of these Calls have been marked as “completed,” according to the Yellowhead Institute, an Indigenous-led research and education center. NWAC has observed minimal progress since this assessment, with some of the most straightforward Calls ignored entirely. Among these are the requests to publish annual reports concerning the number of Indigenous children in foster care and the educational funding and attainment for Indigenous children.
A Plea for Acknowledgment: Multi-Generational Harm Persists
NWAC emphasizes the urgency of recognizing the multi-generational harm caused by the abuses of the residential schools. NWAC President McBride pointedly remarked, “The people who were damaged by the abuses of those schools still walk among us. Their wounds have been passed on to their children and their grandchildren. This is multi-generational harm.” She challenges those who deny the atrocities to confront the stark reality etched into the lives of Indigenous people across the country, urging them to acknowledge the deeply rooted legacy of the residential schools.
Reflection and Recommitment
While the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation serves as a day for reflection, NWAC stresses the importance of turning those reflections into tangible actions. McBride urges a collective recommitment to the promise of reconciliation. “Let this be the day of recommitment to fulfilling the promise of reconciliation,” she passionately states.
As Canada reflects on its past and envisions a future built on understanding, compassion, and respect, NWAC calls upon the government and all concerned entities to reignite their efforts to implement the TRC’s Calls to Action promptly. The time for real change is now, and it begins with acknowledging the past and taking concrete steps towards a better, more just future for all Canadians.