The 2015 publication of the Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), poses challenges and opportunities for every sector of Canadian society, including those of us who are political scientists. The Commission emerged from the 2008 agreement between the federal government and the tens of thousands of indigenous children who – separated from their families and communities – had to endure the residential school system. The commission’s final report definitively documents the abuses which happened in that system. It also embeds the term “cultural genocide” into contemporary discourse through a compelling survey of Canadian politics and history. The report concludes with 94 specific “calls to action”. In response to these calls to action and to the publication of the report itself, the CPSA Board of Directors in 2016 struck a Reconciliation Committee “to report on the implications of the Truth and Reconciliation findings for political science and political scientists in Canada”. This roundtable brings together members of that Reconciliation Committee to facilitate a discussion on their deliberations to date. The TRC Report defines reconciliation as “an ongoing process of establishing and maintaining respectful relationships at all levels of Canadian society.” How we might strive to achieve this will be addressed both at this roundtable, and at the two TRC-related workshops of which it is a part.
Speakers: Peter H. Russell, University Professor Emeritus, Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, Co-Chair of the CPSA Reconciliation Committee, University of Toronto; Joyce Green, Professor, Co-Chair of the CPSA Reconciliation Committee, University of Regina; Kiera Ladner, Associate Professor, University of Manitoba; Yasmeen Abu-Laban, CPSA President and Professor, University of Alberta; Isabel Altamirano-Jimenez, Associate Professor, University of Alberta; Rauna Kuokkanen, Associate Professor, University of Toronto