The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) was tasked with generating a history of Canada’s Indian residential schools. The TRC collected first-hand stories from Indigenous participants of the state-funded and church-sponsored residential school system in Canada, which had operated for over one hundred years. The TRC’s Final Report, released in 2015, included ninety-four calls to action, five of which (87–91) addressed reconciliation tied to sport specifically. The TRC’s Final Report directed non-Indigenous Canadians to learn more about the history of Indigenous participants in sport from an Indigenous perspective, and to use that ‘truth’ as a foundation for moving forward in reconciliation to jointly support the creation of an Indigenous-centred future in sport. To do this, we draw upon a strengths and hope perspective.
The Strengths and Hope Perspective
A strengths and hope perspective informs the approach being taken for this website. A strengths perspective is different from a deficit perspective (which focuses on what is not going well then looks to outside experts to “fix” the problems). The strengths perspective has three principles:
1) always identify existing strengths in the situation first,
2) identify resources in the environment that can be used to support existing strengths or to create new strengths, and
3) work with (not on) the people involved.
To work with each other, we draw upon the hope perspective. High hope individuals (who successfully get what they want) have three characteristics:
1) they have a desired goal,
2) they can imagine a pathway to that goal, and
3) they can imagine themselves starting on the path and continuing to complete that goal.
We used this concept but extended it to include a shared “hope in” a preferred future for the Indigenous sport community, and for Canadian sport more broadly. We thus set out in this website to:
1) identify our shared desired goal, which places Indigenous-informed history, knowledge and aspirations at its centre (the vision),
2) create a pathway to our shared goal that optimizes our strengths and uses them to minimize our challenges, and draws on rules and resources to achieve that vision, and
3) enhance our shared belief that we can continue on this pathway to work towards addressing our shared vision.
Collective Vision - (TRC Commission Call to Action #87)
"To provide public education that tells the national story of Aboriginal athletes in history."
Pathway to our shared vision
Information exists in the public realm related to Indigenous sport, holistically understood (published research articles; media articles; Wikipedia entries; internet sources) and needs to be easily accessible to interested members of the public.
We have thus created this website to provide easy access to relevant information.