Statement on Commemorating Canada’s National Day for Truth and Reconciliation 2021

As MET (Master of Educational Technology) educators and leaders, privileged to work in the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) First Nation, we honour this place as the home of learning for the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ speaking xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) peoples since time immemorial. We will be striving to develop and reflect upon this tradition of learning in MET.

This September 30th commemorates Canada’s National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. To us, this means confronting Canada’s violent history and the trauma caused by residential schools. In the MET program, we recognize the children whose lives were lost and the survivors, families and communities of residential schools. MET re-dedicates itself to supporting learner success in making a positive change in communities. We acknowledge that we have a legacy of hate in Canada that is manifested today in the extreme disenfranchisement of Indigenous peoples.

On the traditional lands of the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc peoples, we recently uncovered the graves of over 250 children in one residential school (Kamloops Indian Residential School), and we know that gravesites exist at other residential schools throughout Canada. As a vital part of our Canadian story, we would like to invite visitors to this page to commit to reading the 94 Calls to Action (TRC of Canada, 2015), and especially calls 6-12 that focus on education. Examples include calling upon the federal government to: eliminate educational and employment gaps between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples; implement age-appropriate curriculum about residential schools; educate teachers on how to integrate Indigenous knowledge and teaching methods into classrooms, and build student capacity for intercultural understanding, empathy, and mutual respect. These calls speak to us as educators in MET.

Racist behaviour against Indigenous peoples occurs at multiple levels and in many structures and systems. It infiltrates dialogue, workplace meetings, and classrooms -including online environments intended for learning. As people who work at the intersection of education and technology, we must recognize the role that schools, educators, workplaces, and even educational technologies continue to play as instruments of oppression against First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people. We ask as members of MET and visitors: how can we be vocal allies with Indigenous colleagues, students, and neighbours?

MET commits to allyship with our Indigenous peoples on this day of National Truth and Reconciliation and sustained action beyond this day.