February 8, 2017

Canadian publishers endorse Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action

On February 3, members of the Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP) voted unanimously to endorse the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s ninety-four Calls to Action. First presented in December 2015, the Calls to Action are intended to redress the legacy of residential schools and advance the process of reconciliation in Canada between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. 

The endorsement came as part of the ACP Mid-Winter Meeting, held in Toronto, which was attended by seventy book publishers from across the country. During a roundtable session on publisher responses to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, participants discussed issues pertinent to publishing Indigenous writing. Among the topics discussed were editing and marketing Indigenous manuscripts, intellectual property law’s relationship to traditional knowledge and stories, and the need to build capacity among both Indigenous and non-Indigenous publishing professionals who work with Indigenous authors. Partnership with the education sector in developing and delivering learning resources to support the implementation of the Calls to Action was also identified as a key way for publishers to contribute to the process of reconciliation. Many are taking steps to advance this at the firm level, and ACP will continue to explore collective ways in which Canadian publishers can bring Indigenous works to as wide an audience as possible. 

“We believe that the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the release of the final report and the Calls to Action are of immense importance to our country, and Canadian publishers are committed to the educational and cultural purposes articulated in the Calls to Action,” said ACP president, Matt Williams. “ACP’s endorsement of the TRC’s work affirms this commitment. We will help to make sure that these voices and these stories are published and heard.” 

The endorsement of the Calls to Action follows an ACP statement of support for recent initiatives of the Canada Council for the Arts and Department of Canadian Heritage, which make support for Indigenous arts and Indigenous peoples a funding priority.