In June 2015, Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission released 94 Calls to Action that urged reform of policies and programs to repair the harms caused by the Indian Residential Schools. "Decolonizing Discipline" is a response to Call to Action 6––the call to repeal Section 43 of Canada's Criminal Code, which justifies the corporal punishment of children.
Editors Valerie Michaelson and Joan Durrant have brought together diverse voices to respond to this call and to consider the ways that colonial Western interpretations of Christian theologies have been used over centuries to normalize violence and rationalize the physical discipline of children. Theologians, clergy, social scientists, and First Nations, Inuit, and Métis leaders and community members explore the risks that corporal punishment poses to children and examine practical, non-violent approaches to discipline. The authors invite readers to participate in shaping this country into one that does not sanction violence against children.
The result is a multifaceted exploration of theological debates, scientific evidence, and personal journeys of the violence that permeated Canada's Residential Schools and continues in Canadian homes today. Together, they compel us to decolonize discipline in Canada.