Need help starting your conversation? Here are some conversation starters…

(download a printable word document HERE)

• After reading the background document and viewing the 7 minute DVD, share your thoughts on residential schools. Talk about what you would have missed if you were taken from your home as a child and placed in institutions like a residential school? What would be some of the effects? How would you heal?

• Offer your perspectives on reconciliation.
o What does reconciliation mean to you?
o How do we reconcile with our past? With each other? With other communities?
o Are there other examples of reconciliation that would be helpful when thinking about the Canadian situation?

• Is an apology an important part of healing and reconciliation?

• What can be done to increase public understanding of and sensitivity to the effects of residential schools Aboriginals peoples, their families and their communities?

• What elements are essential to renewing or building a new relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples in Canada?

• How will we know when reconciliation has taken place in Canada?

• What can we do to educate others about this history and engage them in the reconciliation process?

• The Aboriginal Healing Foundation has been working for eleven years to address the healing needs of Survivors and their families from the abuses that occurred in residential schools. How can Canadians participate in the healing movement across the county?

• Engage a Survivor in your conversation. Ask them to share their residential school experience with you and talk together about what reconciliation means.

• If you live in a community still healing from the effects of residential schools, what can your community do to help itself heal? What does your community need for reconciliation?

• Read the commemoration section of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement ( Discuss how Survivors in your community can be commemorated? Engage Survivors and ask them what would be appropriate.

• Despite the fact that there are a number of resources about residential schools available to schools across the country, many Canadians are still unaware of this part of their history. What can be done to assist communities, school boards and provincial and territorial governments include residential schools as part of their curriculum?

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