The concept of “seven generations,” shared among many Indigenous peoples, suggests that what we do now will affect the lives of today’s children, their children, and several more generations. It is also a framework to understand the complex relationship and accountabilities associated with living respectfully with the past, present, and future. In the context of reconciliation, we understand that the harms inflicted upon communities are intergenerational and, as a result, the healing will also take many generations. This process may not necessarily be linear.
Guided by the concept of seven generations, our team aims to:
In doing so, we intend to be one mechanism to increase transparency and accountability to ensure those who come after us enjoy good and just relations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Peoples. Though hopeful, we believe caution, diligence, and awareness are necessary to ensure those within government and our broader society work toward effective solutions and do not repeat racist, fundamentally oppressive, or violent patterns of action. Given the history of genocide in Canada, we know we need to be vigilant. The path to a just future is not guaranteed. The processes of decolonization and the realization of a more holistic human rights framework will take a great deal of commitment, courage, and determination.
We intend to report our findings regularly to the public and to publish academic articles on this work. In the longer term, we hope to build an international network among those who do similar work.
Our work contributes to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action 65:
We call upon the federal government, through the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, and in collaboration with Aboriginal peoples, post-secondary institutions and educators, and the National Centre of Truth and Reconciliation and its partner institutions, to establish a national research program with multi-year funding to advance understanding of reconciliation.
This work is also consistent with some of the intended goals of the National Council for Reconciliation, as outlined in Calls to Action 53 to 56.