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Exploring truth and reconciliation

Seneca welcomes Aboriginal guests to discuss outcomes from Truth and Reconciliation Commission

Seneca Talks

President David Agnew is joined by Michelle St. John and Candy Palmater to talk about the role postsecondary institutions play in reconciliation.

More than 200 people gathered in the Great Hall on Monday, March 13 to join President David Agnew in welcoming Candy Palmater, Mi'kmaw comic, writer, TV and radio broadcaster, and Michelle St. John, Indigenous award-winning actor and filmmaker, to campus for a conversation about reconciliation.

The discussion centred around the outcomes from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada and steps that need to be taken to gain long-term healing for Indigenous people in Canada. Palmater and St. John shared their views on the role postsecondary institutions play in reconciliation, emphasizing the importance of acknowledging their experiences.

“The most powerful people are the students. If students, en masse, demand (that) education include Indigenous history, they would listen,” said Palmater.

Both speakers stressed that there is a strong desire to bring about change and overcome barriers to success for Indigenous students, and that the only way to do so is to follow up dialogues with actions.

michelle st. john

Michelle St. John

“Not enough has changed yet," said St. John.

“There’s nowhere to go but up," Palmater agreed.

The conversation was the first event in Seneca’s 50th anniversary celebrations and concluded with a screening of Michelle St. John’s new film, Colonization Road.