Dr. Marie Wilson speaks on Truth, Reconciliation and Policy Change in Canada

November 12, 2015 |  2 min read

If you missed Tuesday's event featuring Dr. Marie Wilson of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Yellowknife, our co-host, the NWT chapter of the Institute of Public Administration of Canada (IPAC NWT), has published a video of the talk to view online.

pc: Western University

The event was also covered by EDGE YK online.

A timely reminder about some essential truths of Canadian history and nation-building. Pinned to the lapel of Dr. Marie Wilson’s jacket as she spoke to a large audience in the great hall of the Legislative Assembly was a poppy. But instead of the plain black circle usually at the flower’s centre, hers had a gold pin, etched with a circle of flames – the symbol of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, for which she was one of the commissioners. “As you all know we’re in a season of remembrance, and like many people I’ll spend tomorrow and all the days of this week… in loving remembrance of my father, my grandfather, many uncles and many family friends who spent key years of their own youth in the midst of great and terrible wars,” said Wilson, explaining the twin meaning of her poppy. “But I want to symbolize that there are other conflicts that belong to this country. Ones that still wait to be remembered.” Wilson’s speech, the climax of an event organized by Dene Nahjo and the NWT Institute of Public Administration of Canada, dealt with many things: the strength of residential school survivors and their essential role in forcing the government’s apology and financial restitution, how public policy can and should be informed by a willingness to listen to Indigenous voices. But coming the day before Remembrance Day, perhaps most striking were her reflections on our history and the collective duty we have to remember.

“Before anyone says too quickly that there’s no comparison between [residential schools] and war… let us also remember together in this moment the conservatively estimated 4000 little children who died in those residential schools or shortly after leaving them. In some cases parents also died before ever finding out what happened to their child, the cause of death or even where they were buried, and some families still live with that unknown.”

Read the full story here.