Reconciliation and Environmental Racism in Mi’kma’ki


  • Dorene Bernard Temple University Press



There has been more talk but not enough action on reconciliation since the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) released its final report in 2015 containing ninety-four calls to action (Truth and Reconciliation Canada 2015). Indigenous people have not experienced the reconciliation intended in the actions that Canada has agreed to implement. Indigenous people and all Canadians need to hold Canada accountable to these actions for true reconciliation to manifest in Canadian society. The TRC calls to action and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) hold particular meaning and hope for me, as a survivor of Indian Residential Schools (IRS), and many other survivors who have gone through the TRC process. Truth is the first step toward reconciliation; understanding is the second step, and remediation is the third. 

Water is sacred. Protecting the water and asserting our rights in the Peace and Friendship Treaties are my responsibilities as a Mi’kmaw woman and rights holder. They are also an integral aspect of my healing journey. When I acknowledge Canadians’ habitation on the unceded lands of the Mi’kmaq, I mean that acknowledgment from the core of my spirit, the spirit of my ancestors, and my future generations. I am living that acknowledgment.