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Rabblers New Year's resolution: Help implement the TRC recommendations

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Hello Rabblers,

As this year comes to a close and a new one is about to begin, rabble.ca has taken on an ambitious project and it would like all of you to join in on its New Year's resolution.

rabble.ca has partnerered with Aboriginal Legal Services of Toronto to launch a campaign that I know people will know is close to my little heart.

The basis for this partnership is to educate and call to action to urge Canadians to take up implementing the long but in no way daunting recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) as their New Year's resolution.

If this seems daunting or overwhelming, don’t worry, rabble.ca staff will be with you every step of the way.

As Mi’kmaq lawyer and Ryerson professor, Pam Palmater has said, "Reconciliation not only requires truth-telling, but concrete actions to remedy the injustice. It requires reparations -- not just apologies. It requires exposing the history so we can change the future. Canada's very sovereignty is entirely dependent on the original and legitimate sovereignty of Indigenous Nations. Therefore, new Canadians and Indigenous Nations are tied together to protect and maintain these lands for our collective future generations."

One of the first items from the TRC that this campaign would like you to consider is recommendation #93.

"We call upon the federal government, in collaboration with the national Aboriginal organizations, to revise the information kit for newcomers to Canada and its citizenship test to reflect a more inclusive history of the diverse Aboriginal peoples of Canada, including information about the Treaties and the history of residential schools."

Palmater notes, "It is critical that new Canadians understand that it is a privilege to live in Indigenous territories and that all of the benefits of their new citizenship come directly from the historical and ongoing dispossession and oppression of Indigenous peoples."

In my field experience as an activist, there are a few people in Toronto who are dedicated to creating links between P.O.C. communities and Indigenous communities, but not enough.

And in my limited work, I have heard the comment that immigrants and refugees have enough difficulties settling into the system, enough distance to state that their responsibility to Canadian history begins when they landed here and nothing more, and that they have a healthy fear of the state and police that makes coming out to demonstrations, even when it would acutely benefit them, racked with fraught and fear.

But, we must remember the potential for a immensely powerful alliance that could be build between immigrants and refugees and First Nation communities to fight the multi-headed beast of colonialism.

No one ever said building alliances was easy but as many people – new Canadians, old Canadians, Indigenous, Metis and Inuit – fighting capitalism as possible is good news to me.

You can begin with a simple social media action. Add the "It Matters to Me" slogan to your Facebook and twitter profiles at this link.

For weekly updates on how to make the calls to action a reality, click this link.

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