The following letter was sent to Minster Fassbender this week in light of the Truth and Reconciliation report and recommendations.Friday, June 5th, 2015 Honourable Peter Fassbender Minister of Education
Dear Minister Fassbender:
Thank you very much for your response dated March 24th, 2015. There seems to be agreement in our initial correspondence about the need for a national consensus shift toward affirmation of historic and contemporary identities.
The national consensus of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission appears to agree. After 60 million dollars, six years, and 7000 witnesses, the final report from Truth and Reconciliation Commission is released June 2. Here are two powerful recent quotes from Justice Murray Sinclair, chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission:
“Just as education was used as a tool to divide us, education is the tool that is going to bring us back together and it’s going to take a long time.”
“In reality it’s about Canadians ensuring that going forward that their decision-making as individuals and as a population of people properly takes into account the nature of the history of this country, that this is part of the history, but also that they fully understand the nature of this relationship that was formed when aboriginal people and British authorities came together in 1764 after the Royal Proclamation in 1763 to talk about the new partnership that would be formed in the governance of this continent.”
The chairman refers to education as a key in shifting the relationship back to a ‘partnership’ model. By acknowledging the past and by understanding these foundational partnerships in their fullest sense, education provides the possibility to transform the relationship Métis have with Canadians and their institutions.
I appreciate your statement on March 24 that meeting the cultural and educational needs of the Métis in this province relies on collaboration and communication between all organizations and the Ministry. We invite the BC Ministry of Education to follow up in timely fashion so we can get on with the important business of educating the next generation of Canadians about these new relationships.
We look forward to partnering with the Ministry on behalf of Métis and all British Columbians.
Joe DesjarlaisEducation Portfolio Holder and Secretary BC Métis Federation cc BC Mètis Federation Board BC Mètis Federation Members BC Mètis Federation Partner Communities
[ilink url=”http://bcmetis.com/wp-content/uploads/BC-Metis-Federation-Letter-to-Minister-Education-June-5th-2015.pdf” style=”download”]Click here to download this letter as a PDF[/ilink]