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Return to the Question(s)

Tansi Nîtôtemtik/Negha Dagondih,

What I have tried to do over the course of this academic year was convey through questions and a northern territorial perspective some truths that need to be recognized before reconciliation can be achieved. Remember, you can always refer to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action here.[1]

In my very first blog post, I asked you “what is in a story?”; and that blog post can be re-read here. It was an honour to attempt to get us through the mid-week slump and be able to work towards discovering more truths on the path towards reconciliation. Perhaps some of us do not quite feel like we know enough yet, and that is fine. What we have done together in this space over the past eight months , was to work towards reconciliation. Reading the blog five days a week is by no means the complete experience to achieve reconciliation, but it works towards it. By listening to me, and us, you have been part of an experience both personal and communal.

We have shared an experience that has brought us together to think about these issues and current events, while also giving each of us the chance to reflect on our perspectives from diverse backgrounds, which is critical to the awareness and experience of truth that must inform our work towards reconciliation. Like I said before, I was told that Western education and legal systems were not meant for Indigenous peoples. But through this blog, I was able to share the perspectives of the Northwest Territories and the Deh Cho peoples through a legal academic lens, and this integration was something that I did not initially think possible coming into law school.

So as I share my closing thoughts with you, sharing reflections that make up only a part of who I am, I want to ask you to share with me and us - beyond this blog, and in the opportunities where our paths cross again - your experiences with my posts as they came and went. As we navigate through this experience towards reconciliation together, having had these experiences of sharing space on a virtual platform, ask yourself “what is in a story?” And what is in your story now that we have learned, healed, educated, and reconciled (to some extent) with one another?

As we near the end of this post, and our time together, I want to share a quote that we can carry forward as we decide on the next steps of how to be engaged in reconciliation in the nation-state of Canada. As Harry LaForme said in his closing comments at a conference :

“I do not intend to provide answers to the concerns that are the subject of this conference and this topic; however, you may very well conclude that the concerns expressed will themselves reveal answers and that it only remains to implement them into action.”[2]

What a beautiful thing to have been able to discover some of the many truths out there together. May we all be part of the collective goal of reconciliation, as Indigenous and non-Indigenous allies.

Thank you for listening to what I had to share, and for considering those in the Northwest Territories and Deh Cho, it means a lot to me.

Until next time,

Gavin and Team ReconciliAction YEG

[1] Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, “Calls to Action”, (2015), online (pdf): Government of B.C. <>

[2] Harry S LaForme, “The Justice System in Canada: Does It Work for Aboriginal People” (2005) 4:1 Indig Law J at 2.

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