Education is the key to reconciliation.
That was the main message this morning at the University of Saskatchewan's "Building Reconciliation" national forum on post-secondary education.
One by one, guest speakers spoke about education and the importance it will have on the reconciliation process.
The head of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Justice Murray Sinclair, says Canada's education system missed out on the opportunity to teach students the proper relationship with Indigenous people.
AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde says universities have a big role to play in reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.
In a passion-filled speech, Bellegarde told the crowd why it's so important to act on those calls to action.
And Bellegarde says it won't be easy - adding that to move forward, we must confront and conquer fundamental misconceptions about history.
He uses the doctrine of discovery as an example. Bellegarde says the idea that Canada was "discovered" by explorers needs to be dismissed.
"Changing the curriculum is very fundamental and key to bring about reconciliation in Canada, teaching treaties. And as well the residential schools have to be taught, and the impacts of the residential schools have to be taught," he said.
He also pointed out the importance of teaching languages like Cree and Dene.
Metis Nation - Saskatchewan president Robert Doucette says his people have been forgotten in the reconciliation process.
Doucette made it clear to those attending Wednesday's gathering that the TRC report barely mentions the Metis people.
"The day schools that we went to, that our relations went to, that my grandfather went to - Beardy's - the Metis people have been left out. And that's a mark on this country that I think has to be dealt with, in a good way," he said. "If we're going to live in peace, unlike other parts of the world that we see right now, we all have to be partners in reconciliation."
Meanwhile, twenty-four different post-secondary schools signed an agreement committing to closing the Aboriginal education gap this morning.
University of Saskatchewan President Peter Stoicheff made the announcement at the forum.
The commitment includes three universities, eight regional colleges and six U of S-affiliated colleges.
Stoicheff previously told MBC that the conference is committed to solid tactics to answer the TRC's call for action in regards to post-secondary education.
He says the comments from Justice Sinclair stood out for him.
Stoicheff says Sinclair's message - education is a key to reconciliation - reminds the university of the significant role it plays in reconciliation.
"Learn to make this work. Learn to keep doing this, because this, now, is an ongoing commitment that you have to hold to. You have to keep this up. Whatever it is that comes out of this day, don't let it be the only discussion," Sinclair told the crowd.