The Scouting movement that I want to belong to not only acknowledges this reality, but learns from it. The movement that I want to belong to is one that genuinely commits to countering racism, discrimination, and exclusion wherever it occurs.
We consider ourselves to be a values-driven movement, and we take seriously our mission of developing well-rounded youth who are better prepared for success in the world. But we also believe that, in many respects, we have failed to stay true to the values we have always espoused, and we are here today to tell you that we as an organization need to do better.
Going forward, we need to live up to our stated values of trust, equity and respect, while grounding our future actions in reciprocity. We must build an organization and a movement that is free from our original racist and paternalistic relationship with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples. Only through doing that are we able to set an authentic tone of inclusion and respect for anyone who wants to belong to our movement. Only through doing that are we able to truly make amends for the harm that we believe we have caused.
To our Scouts Canada members, past, present, and future: We recognize that the diversity of Scouting in Canada means that members of our organization will be in different places when it comes to accepting the harm that Scouting has caused, and continues to cause, Indigenous communities. However, the moment has arrived for us all to understand and acknowledge the significance of this apology as a critical first step in building a new relationship between our movement and Indigenous Peoples.
We will need your support in forging this new relationship. Our ability to role model a commitment to Scouts Canada’s truth and reconciliation journey to the young people we serve is now a necessity, not simply a request.