On September 12 and 13, CMC’s Senior Membership Engagement Advisor, Tara Molloy, had the honour of participating in the Saskatchewan Co-operative Association’s Treaty Learning Journey: Let’s Talk Truth event, which was facilitated by Elaine Sutherland, Director of Treaty Education at the Office of the Treaty Commissioner.  

The two-day workshop began by establishing the cultural, spiritual, social, political, and economic frameworks of First Nations communities prior to European contact and moved swiftly into the processes and intents of treaty negotiations and the contradictory process, intents, and effects of the Indian Act. Workshop participants learned how the Act and the failures of the Canadian government to uphold its treaty commitments have had lasting impacts on First Nations cultures, economies, politics, and communities. Time was dedicated to learning about the mandatory residential school system, the so-called “Sixties Scoop”, and the ongoing epidemic of violence against indigenous women and girls. Event facilitators approached these difficult subjects with both honesty and compassion, and provided participants with a safe space to emotionally process what they were learning, and to consider the traumatic inter-generational impacts these have had on all indigenous communities throughout Canada. 

The information and stories that were shared during the workshop strove to dispel the prevalent myths about indigenous rights and realities that have long frustrated indigenous and settler relations, and fueled systemic, judicial, and often violent anti-indigenous racism. These lessons will feed into CMC’s work and bolster its commitment to serving as an active ally in Canada’s journey towards true reconciliation.