Truth: Acknowledging Scouting History in Canada
Two things can be true at once. Scouts Canada members can BOTH be proud that throughout our history, some youths have benefitted from discovering new skills, developing as leaders, and gaining confidence and resilience AND we can acknowledge that the intent and origins of Scouting has and continues to cause harm for youth from Indigenous and other equity-seeking communities.
Acknowledging the complexity of Scouting’s history and traditions and the colonial framework from which it was developed does not mean canceling or demonizing Scouts Canada. It means revealing truth so that we can authentically apologize and work towards co-creating a new framework based on values of reciprocity, trust and respect that will benefit all youth, from diverse backgrounds and lived experiences.
Over the last year, Scouts Canada has worked with Indigenous Advisors and two Canadian Historians, James Trepanier, Curator, Canadian Museum of History and Kristine Alexander, Director of the Institute for Child and Youth Studies, University of Lethbridge to uncover the difficult truths behind the origins of Scouting in Canada, the colonial framework from which it was developed and the intent of its program, specifically as it relates to Indigenous youth. These historians have reviewed archives of speeches given by Scouting leaders, newspaper articles, published magazines and handbooks both in Canada and the UK.
We’ve curated some of the important information we’ve learned. To learn more, we will also share a list of resources as well as the full interviews.