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“Errors were made:” public attitudes regarding reconciliation and education in Canada

Faculty Advisor




education, reconciliation, Indigenous-settler relations

Abstract (summary)

The 2015 release of the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada accelerated the extensive range of educational activities across Canadian jurisdictions dedicated to updating curricula and supporting Indigenous students. How have these initiatives affected educational practices and more general understandings about Indigenous-settler relations? Drawing on data from a survey of public perspectives on education and reconciliation conducted in Alberta and Saskatchewan, this paper addresses the question: What are the current public attitudes regarding reconciliation overall and within Alberta and Saskatchewan schools? We explore these perspectives by highlighting two contrasting orientations – one in which reconciliation is accepted as a form of peaceful coexistence within existing settler colonial frameworks and another in which liberal discourses as well as more openly racist stances serve as a form of democratic colonization that further reinforce those frameworks.

Publication Information

Wotherspoon, T., & Milne, E. (2021). “Errors were made:” Public attitudes regarding reconciliation and education in Canada. Canadian Review of Sociology 58(3), 306-326.


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