Researchers: Jade Ballek, Stacey Becker, Kim Fick, Jason Low & Angela Sparks

Increasingly, there are calls from multiple voices across the Canadian landscape to (re)build and renew relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people to engage in positive dialogue. Senator Murray Sinclair, Chief Commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, believes that schools hold the key to reconciliation and as such, the Calls to Action place emphasis on teachers and education as a place of importance in building relationships. Historically, schools were responsible for much of the hurt experienced by Indian Residential School Survivors and now play a critical role in healing through relearning, through gentle disruption and social action. Additional research is necessary to uncover the first-hand experiences of those who are responsible for implementation of reconciliation in K-12 schools (Wotherspoon & Milne, 2020). This study hopes to address this research gap by providing insights into reconciliation leadership as experienced by K-12 school leaders in one rural division in Saskatchewan.

Research Questions:

1. What strategies and actions are rural K-12 school principals undertaking to lead reconciliation in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action?

2. In what ways have these activities increased understanding of the Indigenous worldviews and the history of and legacy of residential schools?

3. How have these practices strengthened relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people within one rural school division?

4. What challenges and opportunities are experienced when leading reconciliation in rural schools?