At the rate it’s going, Canada won’t complete the TRC Calls to Action until 2074. Here’s what would change with Indigenous youth policy leaders in charge.

“The system is built from a foreign country’s ideologies of oppression and capitalism — it is not made to accommodate an Indigenous way of thinking.”

Why It Matters

In 2020, Canada only completed eight of the 94 Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action — one less than 2019. Indigenous knowledge and ways of being inherently respect other people and the planet — and if Indigenous youth policy leaders had an equal voice at decision-making tables, they could radically impact issues from the environment to racial equity, wealth distribution, and more.

This story is in partnership with the Canadian Roots Exchange.

Over the summer, Tia Kennedy, an Indigenous youth policy leader, got a job as a summer student at Indigenous Services Canada. She says the experience has been great — her current manager is Indigenous, and her team have set up a Seven Grandfather Teachings coffee social where, “for an hour, we bring in different people to bring in more cultural teachings,” Kennedy says. 

However, she adds, not all departments within the federal government are like this. “I consider it a privilege that I’m allowed to walk in these spaces as a strong Indigenous person, and be able to speak my truth, because it’s not the case [in all departments of the federal government],” she

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