A Shared Tomorrow

We are Elders from Aboriginal and other ancient histories who care about Canadians and answered a call to action in November 2012. For two days, we gathered on the traditional territories of the Musqueam People to explore how Reconciliation, as a way of being, can help our society move forward. To that end we have made a video to explain who we are and invite you to join us on this path.

Our purpose is to speak some truths about the trauma of Indian Residential Schools and other atrocities that have been imposed upon humans around the world. As Canadians, we share a responsibility to look after each other and acknowledge the pain and suffering that our diverse societies have endured – a pain that has been handed down to the next generations. We need to right those wrongs, heal together, and create a new future that honours the unique gifts of our children and grandchildren.

How do we do this? Through sharing our personal stories, legends and traditional teachings, we found that we are interconnected through the same mind and spirit. Our traditional teachings speak to acts such as holding one another up, walking together, balance, healing, and unity. Our stories show how these teachings can heal their pain and restore dignity. We discovered that in all of our cultural traditions there are teachings about reconciliation, forgiveness, unity, healing and balance.

We invite you to search in your own traditions and beliefs, and those of your ancestors, to find these core values that create a peaceful harmonious society and a healthy earth. With those ways of being in mind, join us in facing the challenge of healing Canada of its painful past so we can leave a better future for our children.

With those ancient ways in our hearts and the future in our minds, let’s hold hands and walk together. In that spirit, we invite you to join in Reconciliation Canada’s initiatives including the Walk for Reconciliation on September 22, 2013 in Vancouver, BC.

Signed,
 

LARRY GRANT
Musqueam Elder

ASHOK MATHUR
South Asian artist, writer, and cultural organizer; Director of the Centre for innovation in Culture and the Arts in Canada (CiCAC), Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, BC.

GRACE EIKO THOMSON
Japanese Canadian Historian and Curator; Former President, National Association of Japanese Canadians.

WINNIE L. CHEUNG
Director & Past President of
the Vancouver Asian Heritage Month Society (VAHMS).

FARID ROHANI
Bahai; Chair of the Board, Laurier Institution.

ANDY YELLOWBACK
Cree Elder, Northern Manitoba

BESSIE YELLOWBACK, BSW, RSW
Gitxsan First Nation
Vancouver Aboriginal Child and Family Services Society
Resource Social Worker.

ROBBIE WAISMAN
Vancouver Holocaust Centre Society For Education and Remembrance

LOUISE ROLSTON
Member of the United Church of Canada; Former Chancellor of Vancouver School of Theology.

DR. MARIE ANDERSON, BSW, MSW, PHD.
Cooks Ferry Band, Nlakapmux Tribe; CEO Heywaynoqu Healing Circle For Addiction Society and Co-Developer and Sessional Instructor Chemical Addictions Program, Nicola Valley Institute of Technology.

YVONNE RIGSBY-JONES
Snuneymuxw First Nation; 
Executive Director, 
Tsow-Tun Le Lum.

BARNEY WILLIAMS
Member of The Indian Residential School Survivors Committee
for
Truth and Reconciliation.

WILLIAM A. WHITE, BA HISTORY AND ANTHROPOLOGY
Coast Salish Elder, Tsowtunlelum Elder in Residence/Cultural Resource Worker; Principal Researcher Kwam Kwum Sulitst HIV AIDS Project Cowichan Tribes.

CHIEF DR. ROBERT JOSEPH
Gwawaenuk Elder; Ambassador, Reconciliation Canada; Indian Residential Schools Survivor Society.