The truth hurts.
Yet, this is the exact reason why it must be discussed. One of the keys to reconciliation in Canada is for the nation to hear the entire truth in order stop someone dead in their tracks. While this counter culture is extremely disruptive, it’s an important step to foster involvement in reconciliation. It should make people feel uncomfortable. It should make them feel uneasy. The truth is what will lead to creating a real, lasting relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.
The truth campaign incorporates connections to Canadian national identity. The connections are created through disrupting lives and encouraging engagement through challenging Canadian norms and values, educating the country and motivating every Canadian to be part of the reconciliation movement.
These are the reasons why the Otahpiaaki Truth campaign adheres to four main objectives: to disrupt, engage, educate and motivate.
Otahpiaaki Truth connected with fashion designer Justin Louis; showcasing some of his work from Section 35 on Mount Royal University’s Main Street in March. This showcase was part of a larger promotion of the Otahpiaaki Fashion, Beauty and Design week in September of 2017 that featured the work of other designers and collaborators. His provocative work inspired much of the Otahpiaaki Truth movement as Section 35 is extremely disruptive, engaging and motivational.
The Truth group also handed out custom-labelled water bottles on Main Street at the same event in March; that featured statistics about the awful state of water sources in Indigenous communities across Canada. Notably, how 73% of First Nations communities across the country are at risk of having contaminated water. The group stopped MRU students walking by, engaged them with Otahpiaaki, and motivated them to spread the word and act.
The Truth campaign strives to continue to disrupt, engage, educate and motivate Canadians to do something about it – and while the truth hurts, it is one of the most important aspects of reconciliation.