LETTER: Reconciliation a meaningful step

Hundreds of aboriginal families have lost loved ones as a result of many tragedies along Highway 16.

Re: “Myths of the Highway of Tears,” (B.C. Views, Oct. 28).

Tom Fletcher’s column triggered my memory of the dog whistle politics we saw in the recent federal election.

The Highway of Tears is not a myth and using mythology in the title of that column is an insult to the hundreds of aboriginal families who have lost loved ones as a result of many tragedies that have occurred on that road and across this country.

The identity politics of the outgoing prime minister were properly rewarded, and the party that showed Stephen Harper the door at 24 Sussex Drive has promised an inquiry into the disproportionate number of murders and disappearances that continue to occur in the aboriginal population.

It would be hoped that an inquiry will begin to expose the depth and colour of systemic issues inherent in Canadian institutions that help perpetuate these tragedies, and that the new federal government will commit to real solutions from its recommendations.

The incoming prime minister has made further commitments to the 92 recommendations that came out of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) process.

The TRC has helped many Canadians to understand the origins of deep-rooted problems faced by aboriginal communities both on and off reserve, and to help them move Canadians individually and collectively to a reconciliation commitment. Those current and future problems will always be about the quality of the relationship between the First Nations people and the general non-native population.

Improving the transportation options for people in the North is primary, but it does not solve the systemic problems that continue to poison opportunities for everyone to work together to end the dysphoria that has dominated aboriginal communities both on and off reserve.

Reconciliation Canada (reconciliationcanada.ca) is a key agent of change in this space and is dedicated to building meaningful relationships where all Canadians achieve their full potential and shared prosperity.

Getting informed is the first step. Stepping into this discourse is the next.

I am stepping in.

Carl Mashon

Victoria

 

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