What is reconciliation in a school setting?

Reconciliation has been thoroughly defined in the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples. On its heel, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission followed with its final report and recommendations in June 2015. Since, ‘reconciliation’ is quickly becoming a national sensation and a question at the same time. And so what is reconciliation from a secondary student’s point of view? We suggest that the student will need to become engaged in Treaty education and meaningful dialogue to define this for themselves, over time. It is up to schools to begin that process.

This paradigm shift of reconciliation will benefit all people living in Canada as Indigenous people, their culture and world-views will contribute, lead and greatly inspire the next positive directions for Canada. This 4 Seasons of Reconciliation’ program aims to engage and prepare students for this positive change.  Reconciliation coupled with the Indigenous population explosion will surely impact their generation, more so than it ever has for before.

The 4 Season’s of Reconciliation begins in the mandatory grade 10 history course and extends to other courses. It then expands into the broader school community for four school semesters thereby ensuring that an entire generation will receive reconciliation education.

In a Post-Secondary Setting?

The resources and campaign are currently being adapted for College and University level with help from our partners the First Nations University of Canada and the University of Ottawa. It is our hope that soon the reconciliation campaign can take place across all Departments, all campuses and all Institutional levels. Please visit the Post-Secondary page for more information.

In Organizations & Workplaces?

Finally, the campaign and resources extends into the workplace and community organizations from the corporate sector to faith-based organizations. Reconciliation can be taught to small enterprises as well as large governmental departments. All Canadians are invited to reconcile with Indigenous People for the betterment of all. Awareness and education is key to this process. 


Charlene Bearhead (left)  Education Lead - National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation with Sherry Saevil, Halton Catholic District School Board

Charlene Bearhead (left)  Education Lead - National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation with Sherry Saevil, Halton Catholic District School Board

The success of the reconciliation secondary school unit, 4 Seasons of Reconciliation, was featured at the 2017 National Education Roundtable by invitation from the NCTR

The National Education Roundtable 2017 annual gathering was launched in Calgary on January 23rd with opening remarks from TRC’s Commissioner Chief Dr. Wilton Littlechild; education leaders from all provinces and territories were represented. Delegates shared work done in their region in addressing the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Actions in education. 

It was an honour to present with Sherry Saevil  the multi-media grade 10 history unit, by invitation from the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation. Our pilot funder, Josh Hellyer from Josh Hellyer Connects travelled with us for this important milestone.

Since our presentation, discussions with interested provinces are under way to spread 4 Seasons of Reconciliation across the country. The unit produced in French and English launched in Ontario schools last year with all francophone boards joining in. 

NEXT ON OUR HORIZON: This coming year we will work with five provinces who plan to roll out 4 Seasons in the fall, as well as continue to reach out to the remaining school boards in Ontario.

We gratefully acknowledge the Josh Hellyer Initiatives and the Audrey S. Hellyer for their financial support. We thank and acknowledge this resource's Indigenous Advisory Circle of Native educators who advise us. We also express our deepest gratitude to: the Aboriginal Healing Foundation, the Legacy of Hope Foundation, the family in the film: 3rd World Canada, the youth leaders and community of Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug who have helped inspire and review the 3rd World Canada Multi-media Education resource, ‘Response, Responsibility, Reconciliation’ which is the foundation from which the 4 Seasons of Reconciliation stems from.