FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government today released a report on its progress in implementing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action.

“When the All Nations All Parties Working Group on Truth and Reconciliation met last December, it was discussed that a progress update on the implementation of the Calls to Action for which the province is responsible would be of benefit,” said Aboriginal Affairs Minister Arlene Dunn. “There has been a lot of very good work completed, but we are not finished yet. There is more to do in the months and years ahead and our government is committed to continue the ongoing efforts.”

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission released its report, Honouring the Truth, Reconciling for the Future, in 2015. That report called on all levels of government, in addition to organizations and residents of Canada in general, to take action to mend the legacy of the residential schools and advance the process of reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Canada.

The 2015 report includes 94 Calls to Action, 31 of which fall under the responsibility of the provincial government, including in areas such as child welfare, education, language and culture, and health.

Dunn said that although fully addressing the content of some Calls to Action may take several years, the government has been making steady progress, with work either initiated or completed on 27 of the 31 Calls to Action, or 87 per cent.

Eight departments are involved in responding to the Calls to Action: Social Development; Education and Early Childhood Development; Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour; Service New Brunswick; Health; Aboriginal Affairs; Justice and Public Safety; and Tourism Heritage and Culture.

Some highlights include:

  • The signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Vitalité and Horizon health networks and the First Nations communities of Madawaska, Tobique, Woodstock, Kingsclear, St. Mary’s and Oromocto to maintain and improve services for addictions and mental health within those communities.
  • Social Development is working toward creating new stand-alone provincial child welfare legislation to ensure that First Nations’ cultural views and practices are reflected and prioritized in such a way that supports reconciliation, self-determination and the well-being of children and families.
  • Training is being developed for all public servants on the history of Aboriginal peoples, including the history and legacy of residential schools, treaties, and Aboriginal rights.