The Writers' Union of Canada Commits to the Challenge of Reconciliation
Toronto – At its annual general meeting in Winnipeg this past weekend, delegates of The Writers’ Union of Canada (TWUC) voted unanimously to endorse the spirit and challenge of reconciliation emerging from Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. TWUC committed to both taking and supporting relevant action focused on increasing the space for Indigenous-authored stories in school curricula – including residential school stories, their context in the history of colonialism in Canada, and their lasting impact.
“I believe it’s our job as writers to speak out when the cultural basis of a people’s identity has been systematically destroyed,” TWUC chair Heather Menzies said. “The trauma of that destruction lasts for generations, and the healing takes as long. Printed and spoken stories are at the heart of the reconciliation process.”
TWUC’s national Curriculum Task Force works to research and track the inclusion of Canadian-authored books and stories in teaching curricula across the country, and to encourage greater use of Canadian books in schools. In Winnipeg, leaders of the task force enthusiastically accepted the mandate to work toward increasing the space for Indigenous-authored stories in school curricula.
“Part of Canada’s national healing is the work of cultural reconciliation,” added Menzies. “That work will happen in many spaces, but it must happen in our schools, and through the authorship of those most directly affected.”
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The Writers’ Union of Canada is our country’s national organization representing more than 2,000 professional authors of books. The Union is dedicated to fostering writing in Canada, and promoting the rights, freedoms, and economic well-being of all writers. www.writersunion.ca
For additional information:
Heather Menzies, Chair
The Writers’ Union of Canada
416.703.8982 Ext. 221