Youth Voices' Ideas on Reconciliation Action for Schools and Districts

March 06, 2014
Graphic recording illustration by Avril Orloff (

Youth Voices on Reconciliation was a day-long dialogue for students, teachers and administrators to discuss the role of the high school system in creating reconciliation among Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. A major output was a list of actionable ideas generated by participants for their districts and schools to consider for implementation.

The resulting dialogue report summarizes participant ideas for action under the following seven themes:

  1. Integrate Indigenous culture, arts and history in all subject areas
  2. Include Indigenous peoples in decision-making and the presentation of Indigenous knowledge
  3. Provide professional development opportunities for teachers
  4. Support student-driven reconciliation initiatives and provide resources towards these
  5. Model healthy relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples
  6. Hold cultural awareness activities for Indigenous students to learn about and proudly share their culture
  7. Increase Awareness of Indigenous history and heritage at a younger age

Reconciliation Poem

Written by Student Participants

Dialogue is your story, your knowledge, your acceptance,
and the understanding you play in the world.
And your story,
your great, great grandchildren will classify you by.

Understanding your story builds empathy and makes us compassionate.
Craving for nothing,
but peace and fight.
Nothing but love.

Without knowledge there is no progress.
With truth there is no progress.

Difference is what sets us apart,
but brings us together.

Alone we are nothing, but together we are movement.

Understanding in the mind.
Compassion is in the heart.

Victory is in dialogue.
Victory in understanding.

Everything and everyone have something in common.

Understanding is what brings us together.
Compassion is what makes us love one another.

We are created to live and forgive each other,
no matter what.
We are the new generation.

So please, understand, because it’s the only string that still holds us together.
The only one that hasn’t been broken,
and the one connected to the rest of the world.
It creates and surfaces all the goodness we desire

We may not have everything.
But together, we have it all.

In partnership with:

Special thanks to event advisors Karen Joseph, Brandon Curr, Ron Johnston, Brad Baker and Trista Fuller.