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Q&A with Kevin Lamoureux

November 03, 2016 | Working Together - Fall 2016

Kevin Lamoureux
Kevin Lamoureux, Associate Vice President, Indigenous Affairs, the University of Winnipeg.

An award-winning instructor, Kevin Lamoureux, Associate Vice President, Indigenous Affairs, the University of Winnipeg, takes the complicated and emotionally-charged subject of Truth and Reconciliation and presents it in a way that is both candid and relatable. And no, he’s not the local politician with whom he shares a name (although the two are friends).

The Winnipeg Foundation was honoured to have Mr. Lamoureux as a presenter at our 2016 staff retreat and as the keynote speaker at our 2016 Legacy Circle event. To learn more about how The Foundation is incorporating Truth and Reconciliation in our work, please visit our Who We Are & What We Do page.

Q - What does Truth and Reconciliation mean to us as a country, and why is it important?

A - When we think about the legacy of residential schools and what that did to people, it’s important to remember that it didn’t just happen to First Nations people. It would be ridiculous to suggest the damage wasn’t heaviest in First Nations communities; what I am arguing is the impacts of a broken relationship, of traumatized communities, of intergenerational traumas, of the moral blemish of having done this to kids, affects all Canadians and we’re still living with the legacy of that today. So Truth and Reconciliation provides us with a way of evolving, growing into the country we should have always been.

The other thing it does is provide us with the kind of future we want for all of our kids. It’s a place where everyone in Canada has the opportunity to experience belonging, and opportunity, and possibility. Even the staunchest critic or the most reluctant thinker wants to see a healthy Canada with no poverty, with less crime, with fewer health concerns.

A lot of Canadians, because of a reluctance of the school systems historically to look at these issues, really have no explanation for why things are the way that they are. And Truth and Reconciliation provides answers to some touchy questions. It provides an opportunity to look inwards as people and as a country. Quite simply the Calls to Action provide us with a way home, a way forward, a way towards the country we should have always been.

Q – How can the average person support the Calls to Action?

A – Every Canadian should read the Calls to Action and think about two questions for every one of those 94 Calls to Action. The first one is: Why is this recommendation being made? If we as individuals could answer for ourselves satisfactorily, ‘Why is this being asked of us, why is this being asked of me?’ I think that is the truth part of Truth and Reconciliation.

The second question is, ‘Would our country, the country that we share and will leave behind for our kids, be better or worse off if this Call to Action were fulfilled?’ There is something really interesting that Canadians will find in trying to answer that question, that in fact our world is better off, our country is better off, if we try to move toward Reconciliation. It allows us to imagine a more morally-grounded future where we can really feel proud of who we are and what we are as a country.

This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity. In our full conversation Mr. Lamoureux also discussed predominant themes in the Calls the Action, and the next steps for both Canada and Canadians as we move towards giving our children the best possible future. To read the full transcript of our interview, download Q&A with Kevin Lamoureux [PDF]. Or hear Mr. Lamoureux on RC360 at

This interview is featured in the Fall 2016 issue of our Working Together magazine. Download or view the full issue on our Publications page.