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

Un message en français suivra.

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.


AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde to deliver keynote speech at Reconciliation Expo

Sep 5, 2017
We are excited to announce that National Chief Perry Bellegarde will be the keynote speaker the Reconciliation Expo! Perry Bellegarde was elected as the National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations on December 10, 2014. Previously elected as Councillor and then Chief of Little Black Bear First Nation, Treaty 4 Territory, he also served as Tribal Chair of the Touchwood-File Hills-Qu’Appelle Tribal Council, and as Chief of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (FSIN) and Saskatchewan Regional Chief for the Assembly of First Nations.

National Chief Bellegarde is a strong advocate for the implementation of Inherent Aboriginal and Treaty Rights. He has made presentations at the national and international levels in many forums, including the United Nations Committee for Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) and various United Nations bodies on the subject of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

We are honoured that National Chief Perry Bellegarde will be joining us on September 24!

Learn more about the Walk for Reconciliation and the Reconciliation Expo here!


Le chef national de l’APN, Perry Bellegarde, prononcera le discours-programme à l’Exposition sur la réconciliation!

Nous sommes ravis d’annoncer que le chef national Perry Bellegarde sera l’orateur principal de la Marche et exposition de la réconciliation! Perry Bellegarde a été élu chef national de l’Assemblée des Premières nations le 10 décembre 2014. Élu auparavant conseiller puis chef de la Première nation de Little Black Bear, territoire visé par le Traité no 4, il a également été président tribal du conseil tribal Touchwood-File Hills-Qu’Appelle et chef de la Fédération des nations indiennes de la Saskatchewan (FNIS) et chef régional de la Saskatchewan de l’Assemblée des Premières nations.

Le chef national Bellegarde est un fervent défenseur de la mise en œuvre des droits inhérents et des droits découlant de traités des Autochtones. Il a fait des présentations à l’échelle nationale et internationale dans de nombreux forums, y compris le Comité des Nations Unies pour l’élimination de la discrimination raciale (CERD) et divers organes des Nations Unies sur le sujet de la Déclaration des Nations Unies sur les droits des peuples autochtones.

Nous sommes honorés que le chef national Perry Bellegarde se joigne à nous le 24 septembre!

Pour en savoir plus sur la Marche de la réconciliation!


Reconciliation in Action: A National Engagement Strategy, a Canada 150 Signature Project, is funded in part by the Government of Canada. | Réconciliation en action : une stratégie d’engagement nationale est un projet de premier plan de Canada 150. Ce projet est financé en partie par le gouvernement du Canada.

 


Why We Walk – Sphenia Jones

Aug 30, 2017

Sphenia Jones

“I went to residential school in the late 1950s. I was about 11 years old and I worked in the infirmary there. I remember that I used to steal a lot of food for the kids or the babies in the infirmary because they were so hungry. I would take whatever I could like peanut butter sandwiches or even raw potatoes. When I got caught, I had to scrub floors with a toothbrush for three or four months.

Lots of people say things like “that didn’t happen”, but it did. They say “oh, get over it,” but we have to talk about it first. I protected the kids in that school with all that I had and I have now met about four or five people who I looked after in the infirmary. They thanked me because they said they remember being so hungry and they remember somebody feeding them.

Right now I am working on a project for child abuse victims which looks at getting homes for them. Our children need at least one safe place they can go to to spend the night away from getting hurt. I’m now one of the cofounders for the Empty Stocking Fund, the Christmas Bureau and Step Up Native School. I have such empathy for the little ones’ who suffered harm in the residential schools, but I’ve come a long way.

Sometimes it’s like a dream when I think about it, but then I pray and the hurt feeling goes away. Forgiveness is one of the hardest things we can do. I had a really hard time forgiving the ones that abused me, but I had to do that to get on with my life. I was anchored there and I was getting sick. When I let everything go, I started getting better.

So what does reconciliation mean to me? It means looking after the little ones which is the biggest hope I have for the future, and it means healing as our souls come together as one.”


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.


Why We Walk – Dan Chambers

Aug 28, 2017

Dan Chambers

“Years ago, as part of the Truth and Reconciliation event held at the PNE, I was privileged to be a representative from the United Church who served as a “listener.” Very simply, if someone had suffered violence or harm from the residential school experience, I was there to listen. I was honoured to have a conversation with representatives of a family, including a mother, father and daughter. The daughter had been adopted at a young age into a Caucasian family due to the effects of the residential school experience that caused her parents to suffer. She was raised in a very loving family but as a Caucasian family it lacked the core Indigenous culture. The daughter was a remarkably well person, but she felt discombobulated because she was unwillingly divorced from her people and her culture.

As I heard their generational story and stories of others who still suffer in a variety of ways the affects of residential schools, I grew in respect and appreciation for the culture that Indigenous people bring to us and all that was lost. The TRC was a learning experience for me to see why healing is not so easy. You can’t just say “get on with it” because you think tragedy happened in the past. There is no easy or quick fix.

Reconciliation by definition is the mending of a broken relationship and clearly there is a relationship that has been broken. Reconciliation as I understand it is more of a process than an end. It’s the process of trying to understand each other and that ongoing process is something that I believe to be absolutely essential for Canadians to be a part of in order for Canada to be well —we don’t have any other option.”


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.


Why We Walk – Laura Milne

Aug 24, 2017

Laura Milne

“My mom grew up in a remote area of Northern BC when she was a child. Her family had moved up there to open a general store that was quite far away from town. Their lives ended up becoming quite intertwined with the indigenous community there. Her father would trade dried goods from his store with some of the people for Mukluks for my mom and her siblings, and some kind people would pick her up on dogsleds to take her to school. It was this respectful, cooperative, healthy trading relationship that evolved naturally, and it helped my mom’s family grow accustomed to life in that region.

Hearing her stories of growing up like that, I feel a gratitude to those people who became connected with her and who had stewarded that land for centuries before her family arrived. My mom passed along to me the values of respect and honour that must be upheld in our relationships with Indigenous people. So to me, reconciliation feels like a responsibility. There is so much healing that has to happen that we all must take part in. It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the work that needs to be done to mend the relationship, but we need to take whatever steps we can and trust that it will take time. It’s an honour to do whatever I can to steward reconciliation. I do my best, but I also know I have more to learn.”


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.


Why We Walk – Hannah Mclean

Aug 22, 2017

Hannah Mclean

“Reconciliation makes me think of residential schools and what happened in the past. I want that to change and to make it better because it makes me feel sad that a bunch of kids like me were hurt. I know that some people are still angry at others and some people are happy with others and I think that reconciliation is important because it brings people together. It makes me feel happy that people are trying to change the world and make it better.”


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.


Why We Walk – Deacon Rennie Nahanee

Aug 11, 2017

Deacon Rennie Nahanee

“The residential schools had closed by the time I came of age in North Vancouver but all of my older siblings, my mother and father had attended. Growing up, I went to a school for Indigenous kids and every Monday the sister would ask us “who went to mass on Sunday morning?” and every kid would put up their hand except for me. This went on for 3 or 4 Mondays and I thought, “I’m going to go to church and see what it is all about”—and I actually liked it. I saw our elders there, and I saw in their eyes a love for serving the Lord. So the next Monday in religion class, I put up my hand and said that I had gone to church.

I grew up in the church, but the elders there never spoke about the residential schools which they had attended. I never knew a thing about residential schools until one day, I went to a conference and I heard all of the horrible stories. As a Deacon, it was very tough for me to see anger meet my faith. I went to the conference for three years and on the last day of the third year, they brought in the elders and church people into the Longhouse and they asked us to take these paddles and walk around the Longhouse while they sang a song. The paddles signified us going into the future—the young people, the elders and the church—all as one.

So for me, reconciliation is finding peace with one another and with our culture. I feel peaceful standing on our land today. I can hear the water, I can feel the sunshine and I can feel the air. We are alive and for that I am thankful.”


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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