By the end of the course, you should be able to do the following:
- Describe the purposes of a truth and reconciliation process
- Give examples of challenges involved in putting truth and reconciliation into practice
- Discuss some key issues in Canada’s truth and reconciliation process
Your online learning will include the following methods:
- Academic and non-academic articles
- Participation in written discussions with other students
- Taking part in Zoom meetings
For Liberal Arts for 55+ Certificate students: you will write a reflective essay.
Week 1: What is reconciliation?
We begin our journey by learning more about reconciliation as a process. We map out the purpose of reconciliation as a tool of post-conflict healing and begin to explore the circumstances under which reconciliation is most likely to prompt positive social, political and economic transformation.
Week 2: Case study—Rwanda
Rwanda experienced one of the most notorious episodes of political violence in contemporary history; the violence of events from April to June 1994 left indelible scars on this small country. In the aftermath of the atrocities, Rwandan society confronted this violence and committed to a peaceful path forward. This journey, still ongoing, demonstrates the challenges and shortcomings of reconciliation.
Week 3: Case study—South Africa
Perhaps one of the best-known examples of reconciliation occurred in South Africa following the end of the white supremacist Apartheid regime. The South African process was unusual in including both amnesty for perpetrators and reparations for victims. Examining the South African experience, we can see how the high hopes of reconciliation can fail to bear fruit.
Week 4: Case study—Canada
Canada’s history of colonial violence and its current colonial relationship with Indigenous peoples are in dire need of a reconciliation process. As we have seen, all parties are responsible for reconciliation. Perpetrators and victims can be hard to clearly discern, since systemic social violence damages everyone although not, of course, equally. We begin the painful work of considering what reconciliation in the context of Canada’s settler colonial experience will demand of the settler-majority population.
Books, materials and resources
You will access course resources using SFU's online course management system, Canvas.