Excerpt—Full Circle: the Aboriginal Healing Foundation & the Unfinished Work of Hope, Healing & Reconciliation

From Full Circle: the Aboriginal Healing Foundation & the Unfinished Work of Hope, Healing & Reconciliation, Chapter 3, “Long-Term Visions & Short-Term Politics.”

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THE MANDATE of the Aboriginal Healing Foundation was conceived as two related components: healing and reconciliation. As a funding agency, the AHF supported these with money and community support workers and other clerical services. Another large part of the Foundation’s work and legacy subsisted in its research agenda, which by 2010 had produced 20 studies all focused upon the Indian Residential School System and its current-day manifestations. The research was meant to advance one objective above all others: healing. The topics explored were enormously complex and included fetal alcohol syndrome, incarceration, domestic violence, sexual offenses and addiction. Behind the complex subjects however were practical questions: what relationship does the Indian Residential School System have to the realities of current-day life? Is there an underlying and perhaps even unifying agent which may account for the many apparent diverse forms of physical and emotional turmoil we can discern in indigenous communities? When communities undertake to solve their problems for themselves, what works, and why? Such were the sort of concrete prospects to which the research agenda was directed.

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Coming Fall 2014—”Residential Schools: with the Words and Images of Survivors”

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The First Nations Financial Transparency Act and Business as Usual in Ottawa

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THE RON GIESBRECHT story is an everyone-saw-it-coming affair, and that’s among the reasons why the First Nations Financial Transparency Act has engendered both its champions and detractors. “This is the greatest piece of legislation passed by our parliament, I believe, in a long time,” Derek Fildebrandt (of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation) has been reported as saying. You can imagine him salivating these recent and delicious months, in anticipation of the handful of uncloseted Chiefs à la Giesbrecht, just as you can imagine the few rueful and disgraced Chiefs lamenting a lapsed age of innocence.

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