Statement on Sixties Scoop Ontario Superior Court Ruling

Feb 16, 2017

All of us at Reconciliation Canada extend our love to all the individuals that were a part of and affected by the Sixties Scoop — a dark period in Canadian history that continues to impact thousands of individuals and communities to this day.

This week, an Ontario Superior Court judge ruled that the federal government failed to protect the cultural identity of Indigenous children who were forcibly taken from their homes and communities during the Sixties Scoop era.

With this landmark ruling, we take a step forward in the reconciliation process. May the survivors celebrate this liberating court decision and begin to find healing and reconciliation in your lives.

‘Namwayut – We Are All One.


Statement on the tragedy in Quebec City

Jan 30, 2017

We send our love.

We are extremely shocked and saddened hearing of the tragedy in Quebec City. We offer our sincerest condolences to the families, friends and community members.

At this time it is important for us to reach out and to care for each other. We at Reconciliation Canada want our brothers and sisters in the Muslim community to know that we stand with you.

We need to live out the vision of an inclusive Canada. To all people in this country, we want to remind you that you are welcome, accepted, and are part of the Canadian family.

The urgent call for all peoples in Canada to answer and act for reconciliation is now.

After all, ‘Namwayut – We Are All One.


Welcoming Gordon Holley to the Reconciliation Canada Board of Directors!


 
We are excited to announce that Gordon Holley has joined the Reconciliation Canada – A New Way Forward Society Board! Gordon has been appointed to the role of Treasurer of the Reconciliation Canada – A New Way Forward Society Board.

The Reconciliation Canada – A New Way Forward Society Board accepted the resignation of Michelle Grant, who has served on the Board of Directors since 2015. We are so grateful for the incredible work that Michelle brought to Reconciliation Canada and we wish her the best in her future endeavours.

Gordon Holley is the President and CEO of Humanity Financial Management Inc. As a CPA, CA for almost 25 years now, Gordon loves helping individuals and organizations that are trying to make the world a better place.

In his role at Humanity Financial, Gordon sees the stress and anxiety produced by finances and financial reporting for many not-for-profit-organizations (NFPOs), charity board members, and senior staff. He excels at providing financial oversight to small to mid-size NFPOs and charities to help them better manage their internal finances and financial budgeting and reporting. Ultimately, his company hopes to instil confidence and credibility in organizations by streamlining their internal financial management so that they can focus their energies on their programs.

Gordon has chosen to work in the not-for-profit sector because he believes that it has not only the biggest opportunities for improvement, but includes the added bonus of being filled with the people he enjoys working with the most. He says, “Life is too short not to feel like you are making a meaningful contribution and working with people that you really enjoy.” He is happy to leverage his company’s financial expertise to make a meaningful contribution to people and organizations that are trying to make the world a better place and finds inspiration from the individuals who work tirelessly for their causes.

“Many people think that working with numbers is dry and boring,” he says, “but I ultimately work with people – and I love it when I can make their lives easier and less stressful. Working with numbers allows me to do that and I love it.”

We are incredibly excited to work with Gordon and look forward to all the positive change he will be bring!


Re-learning Canada’s history has led me to the reconciliation movement

Dec 15, 2016
As a Nisga’a and Kwakwaka’wakw woman, learning about the history of colonialization and impacts that government decisions have had on First Nations people has greatly impacted my life.

Becoming aware of the injustices that have been orchestrated by the Canadian government has changed how I viewed the world. It has fueled my commitment to find solutions and work towards the betterment of our communities.

For me, reconciliation is about ending the cycle of violence within and toward our communities. It is about identifying hope, strengthening our culture and working towards our aspirations. Being aware of our shared history has inspired me to be an activist, to find solutions and take action on creating a better way forward.

You can take action with me today.

 
Make a gift to support reconciliation now

 

Reconciliation is one of many movements that seek to change the way Canadians see Indigenous peoples. I am really encouraged to see how much the message of reconciliation has resonated with the City of Vancouver staff and Mayor and Council.

For me, it is inspiring to see how much impact this movement of reconciliation is having on all peoples.

Reconciliation Canada has given us a chance to reflect on what this country can become, showing us a path that is more inclusive and respectful.

I believe that together we can create a new Canada where all Canadians celebrate and accept Indigenous cultures as an integral part of who we are as a nation and a country.

Join me in a making a gift to support this vision.

 

YES, I want to make a gift to support reconciliation in Canada

 

Thank you,

Ginger Gosnell-Myers
Aboriginal Relations Manager at the City of Vancouver

P.S. Even a small gift can make a difference. Support Reconciliation Canada today!


Ginger’s story is the last in a series of four impact stories that Reconciliation Canada is sharing with you this holiday season. By making a gift, you invest in Reconciliation Canada’s charitable programs and organizational capacity to engage increasing numbers of Indigenous peoples and all Canadians in reconciliation. These impact stories coincide with the annual Giving Tuesday movement on November 29, 2016, which encourages giving and volunteering during the holiday season.

Did you miss Troy’s impact story? You can read about his experience with reconciliation here.


Path to reconciliation is about the small steps

Dec 7, 2016
From the beginning, I felt that I was bearing witness to something important.

Attending the Reconciliation Leadership Learning Experience (RLLE) allowed me to recognize that I was a young leader. I learned that I could make an impact on my community, and that I had an active voice in reconciliation.

RLLE helped me identifying my role in reconciliation. I gained a firm understanding of what I will do in reconciliation. How I can influence the communities I’m part of. How I can bring RLLE experience with me everywhere I go.

 
YES, I want to make a gift to support reconciliation in Canada

 
I believe the path to reconciliation is about the small steps that each and every one of us can take in our own lives. This could be as simple as acknowledging our history, acknowledging the traditional territories, or walking in the Walk for Reconciliation.

You can take a step today too.

I wish every school could witness what I witnessed. I wish that students could hear Chief Joseph speak in every school, participate in the RLLE and other workshops. I wish Reconciliation Canada could provide such opportunities across Canada. And they can with your support.

My hope is that telling my own story will touch someone to start thinking about their own role in reconciliation.
 

YES, I want to empower young leaders in reconciliation

 
Reconciliation is a process that starts with you, creating a ripple effect across the country. Join me, and Reconciliation Canada, in supporting reconciliation in Canada.

Thank you,

Troy Barnes
A member of a Klahoose Nation and Vancouver Island University student

P.S. You can make a difference for someone just like me. Support Reconciliation Canada today!


Troy’s story is the third in a line of four impact stories that Reconciliation Canada will share with you this holiday season. By making a gift, you invest in Reconciliation Canada’s charitable programs and organizational capacity to engage increasing numbers of Indigenous peoples and all Canadians in reconciliation. These impact stories coincide with the annual Giving Tuesday movement on November 29, 2016, which encourages giving and volunteering during the holiday season.

Have you missed the first impact story? You can read how Simran’s perspective has changed since he first attended a Reconciliation Dialogue Workshop for young adults here


National Reconciliation Gatherings – November 2016 // Réunions de réconciliation nationales – novembre 2016

Nov 28, 2016

November has been a busy month for the Reconciliation Canada team! This month, we hosted National Reconciliation Gatherings in Whitehorse, YT and Montreal, QC. These two gatherings wrap up a series of six National Reconciliation Gatherings that we have hosted throughout 2016, and form a significant part of our two-year initiative Reconciliation in Action: A National Engagement Strategy.

A sincere, heartfelt thank you to all those who made all of the National Reconciliation Gatherings this year a success and to all the participants whose presence made these gatherings so meaningful. We raise our hands to you all!


Le mois de novembre a été bien rempli pour l’équipe de Reconciliation Canada! Au cours du mois, nous avons tenu deux réunions de réconciliation nationales : une à Whitehorse, au Yukon, et une à Montréal, au Québec. Ces réunions ont clôturé une séries de six réunions de réconciliation nationales que nous avons tenues durant 2016, et constituent un volet important de notre initiative de deux ans : la Réconciliation en action : une stratégie d’engagement nationale.

Nous voulons remercier très sincèrement et du fond du cœur tous ceux qui ont fait des réunions de réconciliation nationales de cette année une réussite, ainsi que tous les participants qui, de par leur présence, ont rendu ces rassemblements pertinents. Nous vous levons notre chapeau!



National Reconciliation Gathering: Montreal – November 21, 2016 // Réunion de réconciliation nationale : Montréal – 21 novembre 2016
 


National Reconciliation Gathering: Montreal – November 21, 2016 // Réunion de réconciliation nationale : Montréal – 21 novembre 2016
 


National Reconciliation Gathering: Montreal – November 21, 2016 // Réunion de réconciliation nationale : Montréal – 21 novembre 2016
 


National Reconciliation Gathering: Whitehorse – November 4, 2016 // Réunion de réconciliation nationale : Whitehorse – 4 novembre 2016
 


National Reconciliation Gathering: Whitehorse – November 4, 2016 // Réunion de réconciliation nationale : Whitehorse – 4 novembre 2016
 


National Reconciliation Gathering: Whitehorse – November 4, 2016 // Réunion de réconciliation nationale : Whitehorse – 4 novembre 2016
 


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.

canada150_gc_logo_outline_composite


Wishing my mom could see her vision come true at the National Reconciliation Gathering

Nov 24, 2016
Reconciling the differences between my Indigenous culture and heritage on one side, and settler background and Christian faith on the other side, was always a big part of my life.

My father was of Irish background and my mother was Ojibwe from Sand Point First Nation, Ontario. While both of my parents went through challenges in their lives, I was raised to be proud of both sides of my heritage. And reconciliation of the two was always a passion of mine.

I bring the wisdom, knowledge and values of Anishinaabe peoples into my day-to-day mission as an ordained minister of the Presbyterian Church. And because of my background, I continue to experience moments of “not really fitting in”. Moments of being perceived as a Church representative in the Indigenous community, and as an Indigenous person within the Church. Being welcomed and respected by both, but not fully accepted.

 

 

For me, reconciliation means building respectful relationships in our community and accepting our differences. Getting to know each other and our families. Having tea. And learning to work together despite our differences.

When I received Reconciliation Canada’s invitation to the National Reconciliation Gathering in Winnipeg last March, I was so excited. Seeing so many Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in community leadership positions, interested in this conversation, willing to sit down and talk to each other – it gave me goose bumps. When my mom was still alive, she had a vision of such a gathering, of community leaders sitting down together and working out our issues. I wish she could see that vision come true.
 

 
 
Reconciliation Canada and their approach to dialogue creates space for Indigenous peoples and all Canadians to begin learning to be comfortable with and understanding of our differences. This is why I support Reconciliation Canada as a monthly donor. I hope that leading up to the Giving Tuesday, you will make a gift to support reconciliation too. Together, we can bring reconciliation dialogue to communities across Canada.
 
 

Thank you,

The Rev. Dr. Margaret Mullin
Executive Director of The Winnipeg Inner City Missions


Margaret’s story is the second in a line of four impact stories that Reconciliation Canada will share with you this holiday season. By making a gift, you invest in Reconciliation Canada’s charitable programs and organizational capacity to engage increasing numbers of Indigenous peoples and all Canadians in reconciliation. These impact stories coincide with the annual Giving Tuesday movement on November 29, 2016, which encourages giving and volunteering during the holiday season.

Have you missed the first impact story? You can read how Simran’s perspective has changed since he first attended a Reconciliation Dialogue Workshop for young adults here


Digging for Reconciliation

Nov 14, 2016

By Patrick Lucas, MCIPP RPP, Registered Professional Planner

 

You know you’re doing something right when you arrive in a small community early on a cold, wet, rainy Saturday in June and there are fifteen young boys and girls waiting for you, impatiently.

“Where have you been? We’ve been waiting. Let’s go!” We’re actually ten minutes early. The kids swarm our car grabbing tools: Pick axes. Shovels. A chainsaw. Chaos. Someone is going to get hurt.

For the next several days some friends and I attempt to guide this frenzy of energy and enthusiasm through the forest, building a single track nature trail that will provide a space for the kids to ride their bikes, their very own jump track. This trail is happening because they went to their parents, their elders, their leaders and clearly stated what they wanted, what they needed. The community listened.

The big question for so many of us, particularly among non-Indigenous Canadians is what does reconciliation mean for us? What can we do?

For me, it started with a smaller, simpler question: what do you know about mountain biking? An elder asks me during a community planning workshop. “Our kids are doing it,” he explains. “Can’t leave a pile of dirt for five minutes without them building some scary looking jump. We don’t want them to stop. Keeps them away from drugs and alcohol. Be good if we could help them build a real trail. Can you help us?”

Of course I said yes. We built the trail: a smooth swooping descent that cuts down through the trees with carefully built features like jumps and berms that allows the kids to test their skills and courage. We watch the kids flying down, hooping and hollering, with huge smiles. I stand back and watch the faces of their parents beaming with pride. For years I have been seeking technical answers to community planning and here I am, covered in mud, and cheering. I know I am on to something special.

This is the birth of the Aboriginal Youth Mountain Bike Program, a provincial initiative that works with First Nations, training kids to build trails, ride, and get outdoors and connecting with nature. We have built dozens of trails and bike parks in communities all over the province. In each community we dig, throw dirt, and carve paths while listening to our new friends and elders tell us the stories of their people and their relationship to the land. We learn that, for them, these trails are not just for fun, but their means for reconnecting and rebuilding the relationships that had been torn asunder by hundreds of years of genocide. These trails will take their kids back out on to the land, not only to attain greater health, but to regain their identity, culture, their language. We are helping them dig their way out from under colonization to their rightful place on this land.

All that time I had spent digging through theoretical models of community development and empowerment, desperately seeking the right questions that would lead to the right answers. When all I had to do was grab a shovel, and do exactly what the Boothroyd people did for their kids. Listen.


Our Facebook page
Our newest program focusing on trails: Turtle Island Trails

You can also learn about our project with the Simpcw Nation
Or the current work we’re doing with the Lil’wat Nation

You can also follow our adventures on our blog: Riding Turtle Island


Promotional Videos

AYMBP Program Promotional video

Aboriginal Rider Profile: Finding Courage & Decolonization through Mountain Biking

All Trails are Indigenous: Trail building & Reconciliation in the Simpcw Nation



 

 

 


Patrick Lucas, MCIP RPP

An award winning registered professional planner, a settler and aspiring ally to Indigenous communities, Patrick is passionately committed to fostering and supporting authentic reconciliation and the unsettling of Turtle Island. Over the past fifteen years Patrick has had the honour of working along side Indigenous mentors and teachers learning the pathways to build relationships between First Nations and non-First Nations based on trust and respect. As the Founder and Director of the Aboriginal Youth Mountain Bike Program, Patrick has assisted numerous communities to develop trails, recreation, and tourism plans leading to enduring social and economic development.


The views and opinions expressed on this blog are those of the author and may not reflect the views and opinions of Reconciliation Canada.


I accept you. I am with you. I love you for who you are.

Nov 10, 2016
People sometimes ask me why I am so actively involved in reconciliation.

My first experience with Reconciliation Canada was at a Reconciliation Dialogue Workshop for young adults. As a Sikh, I can relate to the challenges that some Indigenous youth are confronting. Challenges of how to define myself and how to fit into mainstream Canadian society while maintaining my traditional values and beliefs.

During the workshop, I realized that we need to shed the layers that we put up to hide from other people. To stand in front of others, emotionally and spiritually vulnerable, and for them to accept you, all of you. That moment is powerful beyond anything I’ve ever experienced.

For me, reconciliation is about tearing down walls and building deep connections with people. I believe that reconciliation will lead us to a nation where there will be no more hate, racism, or injustice. And each of us, with our actions, can make an impact on reconciliation too.

Together, we can create a nation of people truly connected to each other, where we will be able to expose all of our emotional and spiritual vulnerabilities and say to one another:

I accept you.
I am with you.
I love you for who you are.
 

Every time I come to one of Reconciliation Canada’s events, I feel a sense of hope that not everything is lost, that one day things will be better, for all of us. With your help, more Indigenous peoples and all Canadians can have this experience.

As a volunteer Reconciliation Canada board member and donor, I ask you to make a gift and support creating opportunities for Indigenous peoples and all Canadians to develop deeper understanding of and connectedness to each other.
 

 
 
Thank you,

Simran Singh


Simran’s story is one of four impact stories that Reconciliation Canada will share with you this holiday season. By making a gift, you invest in Reconciliation Canada’s charitable programs and organizational capacity to engage increasing numbers of Indigenous peoples and all Canadians in reconciliation. These impact stories coincide with the annual Giving Tuesday movement on November 29, 2016, which encourages giving and volunteering during the holiday season.

US Election – Note from Chief Joseph

Nov 9, 2016
Greetings to all of you who are one with me,

I awoke this morning to the news of the US election outcome. Millions of individuals and communities supported both sides of the campaign. For some, the news was exciting, and for others it was disappointing. The divisive nature of the electoral process can be harmful and highlights the importance of unity and respect in our societies.
 
We must take this moment as an opportunity for reflection: to reflect on what kind of society we want to build for ourselves and for our children, and to ask the questions: Who are we as a people? Who are we as a country? How can we build stronger, more resilient communities?

Our children look to us for guidance, and we have an opportunity to be the role-models that they deserve. Let us teach our children the values of empathy, love, compassion and humility, and cultivate a society that allows all peoples to reach their optimum potential.

Our relationships transcend borders, boundaries, backgrounds and cultures. I encourage you to reach out and listen whole-heartedly to your neighbours and peers. Embrace their unique strengths and diverse perspectives, and understand the interconnectedness that exists among us.

Right now, we are caught in a place between fear and hope. Reconciliation, in all its forms, requires patience, openness and courage. Now, more than ever, I urge you to stay the course. Do not get weary.

We must move forward together. Our future, and the well-being of all our children rests with the kind of relationships we build today.


Chief Dr. Robert Joseph
Ambassador, Reconciliation Canada


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