Statement on the Unist’ot’en Camp in Wet’suwet’en Territory

Jan 8, 2019

Reconciliation Canada is deeply concerned over what took place yesterday in the Unist’ot’en Camp on Wet’suwet’en Territory: heavily armed RCMP tactical squads overrunning peaceful and unarmed land defenders.

This event propagates the long-standing practice of using force, based upon a legal system that once enabled the forced removal of Indigenous children from their families.

There must be better ways and different approaches to resolving conflict.

Throughout the history of this country, we have applied the same old approaches that result in the same old outcomes.

In this time of reconciliation, we must all do better as this may very well be our last chance – our final opportunity – to become the country that we so deeply desire to be: a country that is truly equal, just and compassionate.

Without change, there can be no reconciliation.

Our country – the RCMP, the federal government, the provincial government, and the courts included – must get serious about reconciliation and live up to our common values and ideals.

If we cannot change now, then this country may never change.

We must – especially in times of conflict and disagreement – recognize our common humanity and common desire for a better country.


Community Events – January 2019

Dec 23, 2018

A Reading Circle for Reconciliation
Kelowna, BC
Starts January 8, 2019 

From 2010 to 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission listened to and documented the experiences of survivors, families, communities and anyone personally affected by the Indian Residential School Experience. In June 2015 they published their final report, which outlined 94 Calls to Actions for Canadians. Okanagan Regional Library will be hosting an opportunity for folks to continue the climb up Reconciliation Mountain. Please join us at a five session reading circle where we will read together the Executive Summary of the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission: Honouring the Truth, Reconciling for the Future. Caroline MacKay, Debbie Hubbard and Nan Shearing will facilitate the Circle. The first session will be scheduled for Tuesday January 8. We will meet the second Tuesday of each month for a total of five months: February 12, March 12, April 9 and May 14. The sessions will run from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. Pre-registration prior to January 8 is required.

 

Soup & Bannock: Lunch & Learn Series
Nanaimo, BC
January 8, 2019

This event is open to Everyone. Registration is optional – tickets are not needed for event. This speaker’s series is held by Services for Aboriginal Students at Vancouver Island University and sponsored by various VIU departments. These talks are Tuesday over the lunch hour once a month in Shq’apthut – A Gathering Place and provide the opportunity for students, staff, faculty and community to expand their experience and awareness in current Indigenous topics and various aspects of Aboriginal Ways of Being and Knowing. Click on the link above for more information.

 

Lunch & Learn Series: Indigenous Women’s Health
Edmonton, AB
January 9, 2019 (12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.)

The Indigenous Health Lunch & Learn Series hosted by the Local Officers of Indigenous Health (Medical Students Association) and the Indigenous Health Initiatives Program in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry is pleased to announce the first of three engaging and informative sessions to help build awareness and understanding of Indigenous peoples and Indigenous Peoples’ health. The first session will focus on issues specific to Indigenous women’s health and will be led by Dr Cassandra Felske-Durksen.

 

Dance Allsorts: Iskwêwak Osihtâwak | The Women are Making It
Vancouver, BC
January 13, 2019 (2 p.m. to 4 p.m.)

Iskwêwak Osihtâwak (Cree) is a mixed program featuring Indigenous dance practices shared by Salia Joseph, Jeanette Kotowich and Jessica McMann, with excerpts from Spirit and Tradition by the Dancers of Damelahamid. The dance performance starts at 2:00 p.m. followed by a free dance workshop at 3:15 p.m. Pay-what-you-can at the door: First come, first seated.

 

Community Dialogue: Conservation through an Indigenous Human Rights Lens
Thunder Bay, ON
January 14, 2019 (5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.)

Ontario Nature and the David Suzuki Foundation are hosting a Community Dialogue in Thunder Bay. Join environmental, Indigenous and grassroots activists to discuss how we can protect Mother Earth and its inhabitants in a way that respects Indigenous rights and responsibilities, and honours the interconnection of all life. Guest speakers include federal MP, Romeo Saganash (Critic for Reconciliation and Critic for Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency), and Grassy Narrows First Nations’ community elder and distinguished activist, Judy Da Silva. The event is free, but please register to help us plan for refreshments and seating.

 

Squamish Cultural Competency Training
Vancouver, BC
January 16, 2019 (9 a.m. to 12 p.m.)

Camp Fircom invites you to join us for a workshop on Squamish Cultural Competency led by Jackie Gonzales and Stewart Gonzales from the Ayas Men Men (Children & Family Services) of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) Nation. This workshop is an opportunity to learn more about the Squamish people, their history, their lands, and their truth. We’re inviting the other camps who are on Squamish lands to join us as we seek to be in right relationship with Indigenous peoples.

 

RISE Blanket Exercise
Edmonton, AB
January 19, 2019 (6 p.m. to 8 p.m.)

The Blanket Exercise is an interactive learning experience that teaches the Indigenous rights history we’re rarely taught. Join us on Monday, January 21 from 6-8 PM for this interactive workshop, organized by RISE – Reconciliation in Solidarity Edmonton, to help further your understanding of Indigenous issues.This workshop is free; space is limited. Donations to support the ongoing work of RISE will gladly be accepted.

 

The Honourable Senator Murray Sinclair with Shelagh Rogers
Victoria, BC
January 22, 2019 (7 p.m. to 9 p.m.)

Island Health is pleased to present the Honourable Senator Murray Sinclair for a speaking event on cultural safety, truth, and reconciliation in health care. A national leader in truth and reconciliation, Senator Sinclair will advise, inspire, and share his wisdom to help us understand what Truth and Reconciliation truly is, and to deepen our cultural safety and humility learning journey. Journalist and radio host Shelagh Rogers will join the Senator for this conversation, as will invited guests from the First Nations Health Authority, Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations, and Island Health. This event will be held in the He’Was Hall at the Songhees Wellness Centre. This is a free event but you must secure a free ticket as space is limited.

 

Indigenous Knowledges Wikimedia Workshop 
Toronto, ON
January 28-29, 2019

This workshop is being convened to engage the professional community in discussions and practice-based initiatives to work on the ways that Wikimedia platforms will be used to support the work related to Indigenous knowledges and languages in Canada. The Wikimedia project platforms such as Wikipedia, Wikidata and Wikimedia Commons are increasingly being used to enable grassroots initiatives to support language and cultural reclaimation around the world. The platforms are also being used to increase the visibility of marginalized communities and languages. The platforms are also being used to document traditional practices. Wikipedia is the fifth most visited website in the world. The platforms taken together impact the internet, playing a major role in Google search results. Increasing the visibility and accessibility of information about Indigenous peoples and culture show the world know we are here.

 

Indigenous Storyteller in Residence: Launch Event
Vancouver, BC
January 30, 2o19 (7 p.m. to 9 p.m.)

Celebrate and get to know the 2019 Indigenous Storyteller in Residence! Discover how the residency will support cross-cultural communication and honour storytelling in its many forms through exciting events, workshops and more. Additional details to be announced in January.

 

Pathways to Truth and Reconciliation: Creating Space for New Success with Jean Teillet
Morely, AB
January 31, 2019 (7 p.m.)

In our second season of the Truth and Reconciliation Speaker Series we will be exploring the “Pathways to Truth and Reconciliation”, asking speakers to share what they have learned about the Action of Reconciliation through their own journey, case studies and successes and barriers encountered along the way. We believe that the path to reconciliation must always be grounded in the truth before we advance to reconciliation and along the path, intent and implementation may differ. These are the stories we have invited our speakers to share with us this season.


Statement on the attack in the Tree of Life Synagogue

Oct 30, 2018

Our thoughts, prayers and love go out to all the family and friends of the 11 sacred lives taken so ruthlessly at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

What occurred at the Tree of Life Synagogue on October 27, 2018 is an expression of hatred in its most violent form. These unspeakable acts must stop. We must all stand up to and speak out against anti-Semitism, and against prejudice and discrimination.

Now more than ever, we must uphold our shared values of humanity, dignity, equality, hope and peace. Let us honour the courage of those whose lives were taken by being the purveyors of love.


Announcement: No “Walk for Reconciliation” scheduled for 2018

Sep 5, 2018

Thank you for all the inquiries about the Walk for Reconciliation.

While we will not be hosting a Walk for Reconciliation this year (2018), we offer Reconciliation Dialogue Workshops, Lunch and Learns, and speaking engagements that build awareness of our shared history, engage people in meaningful dialogue and inspire community-based action.

These initiatives and services also help us work towards achieving funding stability, so that we may expand our programs and organize more large-scale community events like the Walk for Reconciliation.

Please click below to make a donation to help us deliver our work, move reconciliation forward, and create lasting change.

 

Click Here to Make A Donation
 

To stay updated on news and upcoming events, please be sure to sign up to receive our monthly e-newsletter and follow Reconciliation Canada on social media (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram).

Thank you for your support and continued commitment to reconciliation!


National Indigenous History Month – June Events

Jun 18, 2018

June is National Indigenous History Month – a recognition and celebration of the richness of First Nations, Inuit and Métis heritage, cultures and achievements. It is a great opportunity to learn more about Indigenous cultures and histories as we continue to find a new way forward together.

National Indigenous Peoples Day is on the 21st of this month – a date that was chosen as it coincides with the summer solstice, which holds great significance in Indigenous cultures.

In addition to the events listed in our May 2018 newsletter, here are more events and gatherings taking place this National Indigenous History Month. If you know of more reconciliation-focused events happening this June that are not on the list, please e-mail us at communications@reconciliationcanada.ca.
 

June 21 

Indigenous Persons Day at Quaaout Lodge
Chase, BC
 

Indigenous Day Pow Wow
Penticton, BC
 

National Aboriginal Day Celebration
Kelowna, BC
 

Royal Roads University National Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration
Victoria, BC
 

Ne-chee Friendship Centre’s National Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration
Kenora, ON
 

Pukaskwa National Park NIPD Celebration
Pukaska National Park, ON
 

National Aboriginal Day Thunder Bay
Thunder Bay, ON
 

June 21-23 

Victoria Indigenous Cultural Festival
Victoria, BC
 

June 21-24 

Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival
Ottawa, ON
 

June 27 

Indigenous History Month Celebration
Toronto, ON
 

June 29 – July 5 

Adäka Cultural Festival
Whitehorse, YT
 


Statement on the Exoneration of Tsilhqot’in Chiefs

Mar 27, 2018

Reconciliation Canada honours the memory of the six courageous Tsilhqot’in Chiefs exonerated by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the House of Commons yesterday, March 26, 2018.

These courageous Chiefs were wrongfully hanged some 150 years ago for defending their homelands from encroachment. Amid what is referred to as the Tsilhqot’in War, these Chiefs acted in what they believed to be a defense of their territories and sovereignty.

The colonial authorities acknowledged this by extending an invitation to the Chiefs to engage in peace talks. The Chiefs agreed to the peace talks, but were instead imprisoned, tried and hanged.

History has a way of baring the truth and, thus, the exoneration. These acts can become pillars and foundations for discovering peace, harmony and reconciliation. The exoneration holds huge promise for our pluralistic society.

We urge all Canadians to learn more about our shared history and about each other.

The Tsilhqot’in are open to new ways forward with all Canadians. The recent Surpeme Court of Canada decision granting them 1,700 square kilometers of land only emboldens their desire to create new relationships through a lens of Reconciliation based on mutual respect and trust.


International Women’s Day

Mar 8, 2018

Today is International Women’s Day. Reconciliation Canada strongly believes that the role of women in reconciliation is a key to success. So on this day and everyday, we ask you to join us in holding our hands up to all the women in our lives. We ask you to join us in honouring their worth and valuable contributions to society. We hold the hope that through reconciliation, all of our mothers, daughters and sisters will be able to experience a new reality where they are honoured, valued and treated as equals.

Women are truly integral to the reconciliation movement; this will continue to guide and be embedded in all our initiatives. Stay tuned for announcements throughout the year to see how you can get involved.


Statement of support for those affected by the attacks in Edmonton and Las Vegas

Oct 2, 2017

Our thoughts are with all those who have been affected by the recent attacks in Edmonton and in Las Vegas. We are deeply saddened to hear about these devastating acts of violence.

We send you all our love, and would like to express our sincerest condolences to the families, friends and members of the community.

We at Reconciliation Canada stand united with all the people who continue to uphold and work towards inclusiveness and peace. We stand with all of you, especially during these challenging times.

It is time for reconciliation and for healing within ourselves, our societies and the rest of the world. We all have a role to play in the reconciliation process. Our collective future depends on our present actions.

Now is the time to live out our shared values together and be guided by the vision of a peaceful, united community.

‘Namwayut – We Are All One.


Thank you | Merci

Sep 28, 2017

2018 Announcement:

Thank you for all your inquiries about the Walk for Reconciliation this year, and for all your support during previous Walks.

Unfortunately, Reconciliation Canada does not have a Walk for Reconciliation scheduled in 2018.

We are currently focused on achieving core funding stability in order to be able to continue our work, develop new initiatives and offer large-scale events like the Walk for Reconciliation in the future.

At present, we are able to offer our Reconciliation Dialogue Workshops, Lunch and Learns, and speaking engagements. Click here to learn more about our ongoing programs and initiatives.

Click here to make a donation to help us deliver our work and create lasting change.

Thank you for your support and continued commitment to reconciliation!

 

Fifty thousand people gathered at the 2017 Vancouver Walk for Reconciliation, in the spirit of “We are all one”

 

On Sunday September 24, 2017, 50,000 people of all backgrounds gathered downtown Vancouver to take a step on the road to reconciliation. Participants gathered on Georgia Street from Seymour to Cambie and adjacent streets. The procession went over the viaduct and ended at Strathcona Park.

Born from the vision of Chief Robert Joseph, Ambassador of Reconciliation Canada, the walk was a call to action, inspiring all Canadians and Indigenous Peoples across Canada to make a shared commitment towards reconciliation and revitalized relationships among Indigenous peoples and all Canadians.

The crowds began gathering outside of Queen Elizabeth Theatre at 9:00am. We could feel the excitement in the crowd as people from all backgrounds, faiths, cultures and ages filled the streets of Cambie and Georgia.

At 10:30am, Walk participants began to gather at Strathcona Park for the Reconciliation Expo. We were blown away by the turnout at the Expo. Individuals engaged with different community organizations, local artisans and had the chance to participate in various experiential activities—all of which were a huge success!

We heard from many people that the Lacrosse drills, the Kairos Blanket Exercise, the Mural Festival, the Commitment Wall, the Witness Blanket and Site Unseen Exhibit allowed them to learn more about Indigenous culture and history in Canada.

We were so grateful to have 343 volunteers present along the Walk and at the Expo. Their smiling faces and helpful attitudes ensured the success of the event. Our volunteers went above and beyond in helping with everything from organizing the event, to posting on social media, to assisting participants, and so many more activities. We could not have done this without you.

We would like to thank our co-host, partners, supporters and friends for their tremendous help in making the Walk for Reconciliation and Reconciliation Expo a success. The Walk for Reconciliation and Reconciliation Expo would not have been possible without the tremendous support from the Government of Canada. We are so proud to have been able to deliver this event as part of a Canada 150 Signature Project: Reconciliation in Action: A National Engagement Strategy.

We are enormously grateful for the commitment of the City of Vancouver who co-hosted this event. To have been one of three Canada 150+ Signature Events is incredibly meaningful. We also extend our gratitude to the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation for their genorsity and guidance.

To our sponsors, we thank you for your generosity in supporting this event.

To our Capacity Partners – without you we would not be able to do this work. Your commitment to reconciliation is inspiring, and we are honoured to have the opportunity to work along you in this important work.


Cinquante mille personnes se sont rassemblées à l’occasion de la Marche de la réconciliation de 2017 à Vancouver dans l’esprit de « Nous ne faisons qu’un »

 

Le dimanche 24 septembre 2017, 50 000 personnes de toutes les origines se sont réunies au centre-ville de Vancouver pour avancer ensemble sur la voie de la réconciliation. Les participants se sont regroupés sur la rue Georgia entre les rues Seymour et Cambie, ainsi que dans les rues adjacentes. La marche a procédé sur le viaduc pour terminer au parc Strathcona.

Issue de la vision du chef Robert Joseph, ambassadeur de Réconciliation Canada, la marche était un appel à l’action, inspirant les Canadiens et les peuples autochtones de tout le Canada à prendre un engagement commun envers la réconciliation et renforcer les relations parmi les Autochtones et tous les Canadiens.

La foule a commencé à se rassembler à l’extérieur du Queen Elizabeth Theatre à 9 h. Nous pouvions sentir son enthousiasme, alors que des gens de toutes les origines, confessions, cultures et de tous les âges affluaient vers les rues Cambie et Georgia.

À 10 h 30, les participants à la Marche ont commencé à se réunir au parc Strathcona pour l’Exposition sur la réconciliation. Nous avons été impressionnés par le nombre de personnes qui sont venues à l’Exposition. Les personnes ont communiqué avec différentes organisations communautaires et des artisans locaux et ont eu la possibilité de participer à diverses activités expérientielles, lesquelles ont toutes remporté un grand succès!

Nous avons reçus de nombreux commentaires de personnes nous disant que les démonstrations de la crosse, l’exercice des couvertures de Kairos, le festival des murales, le mur de l’engagement, la Witness Blanket et l’exposition Site Unseen leur ont permis d’en apprendre plus sur la culture et l’histoire des peuples autochtones du Canada.

Nous étions vraiment heureux d’avoir 343 bénévoles le long de la Marche et à l’Exposition. Leurs sourires et leur gentillesse ont assuré le succès de cet événement. Nos bénévoles se sont dépassés et ont contribué à l’organisation de cet événement, à l’affichage de messages dans les médias sociaux, au soutien des participants et à de nombreuses autres activités. Nous n’aurions pas pu faire ce que nous avons fait sans vous.

Nous aimerions remercier nos co-animateurs, partenaires, défenseurs et amis de leur aide incroyable, qui a permis de faire de la Marche et de l’Exposition de la réconciliation un véritable succès. L’Exposition n’aurait pas été possible sans l’immense soutien du gouvernement du Canada. Nous sommes vraiment fiers d’avoir pu organiser cet événement dans le cadre du projet de premier plan de Canada 150 : Réconciliation en action : une stratégie d’engagement nationale.

Nous sommes très reconnaissants de l’engagement de la Ville de Vancouver, qui a co-animé cet événement. Être l’un des trois projets de premier plan de Canada 150+ est incroyablement émouvant. Nous sommes aussi très reconnaissants envers le Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation pour sa générosité et ses conseils.

Nous remercions nos commanditaires de leur générosité et de leur appui à cet événement.

Nous remercions aussi nos partenaires de la capacité, sans quoi nous n’aurions pas pu faire ce travail. Votre engagement envers la réconciliation est inspirant et c’est un honneur pour nous d’avoir pu travailler avec vous sur cet important projet.


Why We Walk – Brooke Fairley

Sep 6, 2017

Brooke Fairley

“To me reconciliation means giving respect to the first people and honouring the teachings of the land that we are so blessed to live on. I grew up on the land of the Squamish Nation and I have made so many friends and learned so many lessons from the Squamish People that I carry with me. More recently, I began working with a Squamish Nation elder. She always says “culture is our medicine.” That’s something that has really stuck with me. Through learning about her culture, traditions and teachings, I have really seen how culture is medicine. That’s where the healing comes from—resurging the teachings and the old ways.

I understand that we always see things through the lens of our own culture and our own lives. I am a white, fourth generation settler so I always see things through my mainstream, dominant, privileged lens. I have learned so much from her to expand my own thinking and I recognize that I have been so honoured to work under her teachings. She has further abled me to understand my role as a settler, my role as a mother, my role as a human being and as a spirit on this earth.

To learn how to understand others, how to live with people, how to live with our land, and how to respect one another— that’s really what its all about. That’s what reconciliation means to me.”


The Why We Walk campaign asks individuals to share their story and personal connection to the reconciliation movement. Stories will be shared in the weeks leading up to the Walk for Reconciliation on September 24th, 2017.

We believe that every person has a story to tell and that by sharing these stories, people may feel a more personal connection to the reconciliation movement.

Learn more about the Walk for Reconciliation here.

Read more Why We Walk stories here.



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