Reconciliation Calls

Across Canada

Reconciliation Calls

Calling non-indigenous students to Truth and Reconciliation action.

School:

SFU

Department:

RADIUS, Beedie and Semester in Dialogue

Course:

Civic Innovation Change Lab

Instructors:

Tamara Connell, Tim Ames, Alia Sunderji

Student Team:

  • Suyoung Lee | Health Sciences
  • Domunique Booker | Sociology
  • Ada Sin | Psychology
  • Ali Versa | Political Science

Strategy:

  • Healthy City Strategy

City goal area(s):

  • Cultivating Connections

Summary

According to a survey conducted by the Reconciliation Calls team, 75% of international and domestic SFU students identify as having poor or inadequate knowledge of Indigenous peoples and history in Vancouver. If that percentage is applied to the entire SFU student body, that’s approximately 26,000 students within higher education that are, for the most part, unaware of the history, issues and culture of the land on which we all live, work and are educated. This significantly impacts their ability to be active, civically engaged members of Truth and Reconciliation within the City of Vancouver. Only 39% of surveyed SFU students knew that Vancouver was a declared City of Truth and Reconciliation.

A more resilient Vancouver requires that all members of society – young leaders and university students included – get involved in decolonization, reparations, and the Truth and Reconciliation process. Reconciliation Calls is a product-service-system designed to support this action.

Within Reconciliation Calls, students undergo three stages: Education, Self, and Action. The Education module helps students learn important terms, Canadian history, and current issues, as well as faculty-specific knowledge. The Self module takes students through a personal process of self-reconciliation and self-decolonization. Finally, the Action stage provides students an easy avenue to be civically engaged in Truth and Reconciliation. Students answer questions about their passions and skills, and based on these answers receive a tailored list of actions they can take. Reconciliation Calls is an accessible way for non-Indigenous students to become more mindful and civically engaged individuals. Our goal is to take the sole burden off Indigenous communities, and create a more resilient Vancouver.

Reconciliation Calls

Next Steps

The team applied for seed funding through RADIUS to support continued development of Reconciliation Calls. They also intend to reach out to organizations like the Vancouver Foundation, Vancity Community Foundation and The McConnell Foundation to apply for additional funding.

The team plans to continue working closely with the Indigenous professionals who vetted the project to build out the content for the platform, as well as design and build technical aspects of the service. They also aim to extend their reach to other Indigenous communities and Indigenous leaders.

The team’s long term SMART goal (1 year) is to pilot the project with incoming SFU students. Their long term IMPACT goal (5 year) is that 75% of SFU students will identify as having either ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ knowledge of Indigenous people and history in Vancouver, increasing the number of young leaders and individuals who are civically engaged in Truth and Reconciliation on campus and throughout the community.