Truth and Reconciliation: Dr. Niigaan Sinclair

In October 2017, ADSB hosted Dr. Niigaan Sinclair for two days, as he spoke with students, staff, parents and community leaders from across the district about Truth and Reconciliation. He is an Associate Professor with the Department of native Studies at the University of Manitoba and a respected voice nationally on current Indigenous issues. Niigaan’s father, Justice Murray Sinclair, was the Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.

His message was to help students understand the complexity of truth and reconciliation. He also shared some of his own family’s history, including the story of his grandfather, Henry Sinclair, who lied about his age in order to join the army, in effect “choosing bullets over nuns” because he attended a residential school where he was mistreated and abused.

Niigaan reiterated that we all have a role to play in reconciliation, and he encouraged his audiences to volunteer, write, make a piece of art, blog, serve, and connect.

Dr. Sinclair spoke to approximately

300
indigenous and non-indigenous ADSB students,
100
parents & community members and
110
ADSB educators

Dr. Sinclair spent a day with ADSB educators, helping to determine where, how and why it is critical to incorporate Truth and Reconciliation into today’s curriculum. In addition, school teams developed action plans for each school’s next steps in moving forward with reconciliation. Niigaan’s final presentation was to ADSB Trustees and Senior Administration, along with SSM Mayor Christian Provenzano.