#GBC4TRC: Talking about Uncomfortable Truths Before We Take Action

In June 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) of Canada released its 94 calls to action in an effort to guide the reconciliation process between Canadian settlers and Indigenous peoples. The TRC called upon all Canadians — including governments, educational and religious institutions — to take action. But what does this action look like at George Brown College?  

A photo of Audrey Rochette

Audrey Rochette, Director of Indigenous Initiatives (pictured), says action — specifically, reconciliation —needs to first be grounded in truth.  

“We need to hear residential school survivors’ stories. We need think about each and every unmarked grave that gets discovered. We need to learn the truth before we’re able to take action,” says Rochette. 

With these words in mind, George Brown College is launching a truth and awareness campaign, called Debwewin (“truth” in Ojibwe), to remind our community why we need to act.  

Over the next few weeks, we will be showcasing a number of videos from Indigenous leaders that embody debwewin. Ms. Rochette will introduce the content through her own voice and experiences, which can help contextualize some of the uncomfortable truths that are discussed. We’ll also be hearing from members of our George Brown community, learning how they are incorporating the TRC’s calls to action in their own work at the college. Additionally, this campaign will be promoted on our social media channels using the hashtag #GBC4TRC as we lead up to Orange Shirt day on September 30 and a keynote speaker October 1, 2021. 

We hope you join us on this journey as we learn more about Canada’s mistreatment of Indigenous Peoples, our country’s attempts at reconciliation, and the uncomfortable truths that we need to acknowledge before action can truly be taken.