Why We Walk – Babs Kelly

Aug 4, 2017

Babs Kelly

For me in my life, reconciliation really has been a journey. The first time I engaged with reconciliation was back in the mid 80s. My father had been incarcerated in a variety of institutions and he had ended up in an outreach program for Indigenous men who were in prison, and it involved a circle. It was a kind of restorative justice program and they spoke of reconciliation with his family and with people he had harmed. On my mother’s side, her father had been to a residential school and that had always been part of her family’s story. They were always working through the legacy of shame and anger and other consequences of a family that ended up disconnected from their place and their people. So I’ve felt connected to reconciliation for a long time.

Something that I am drawn to now in regards to reconciliation is furthering conversations in disruptive, creative and hopeful ways. I often notice that people find it startling the moment when we say that reconciliation is not just a program that we do— it is not as simple as a checkbox system, or bringing an elder in. It actually is about stopping and thinking about who’s land are we guests on. It is considering how we can we be good allies and how can we look at the world with an anti-oppression framework. Then, reconciliation is looking within and thinking “now this requires a change in 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.


Onjisay Aki International Climate Summit and the Climate Calls to Action

Jul 28, 2017

The Onjisay Aki International Climate Summit was held at Turtle Lodge in the Sagkeeng First Nation, Manitoba, Canada from June 8-10, 2017.  The Summit was led by Indigenous Peoples from the centre of the continent of Turtle Island (North America) who steered the proceedings by following Indigenous protocols of engaging and sharing ancestral knowledges concerning relationships with the natural world. Twenty-four speakers – Indigenous knowledge keepers and international climate leaders – were invited by the Turtle Lodge to represent the diversity of the human family, highlighting in accordance with Indigenous teachings that everyone has something to contribute.  

The following Climate Calls to Action, developed at the Summit, have been established in accordance with the Trail of the Turtle. They are steps that we must take to return to a balanced way of life, founded on stewardship of the Earth. Read more about the Climate Summit and the Climate Calls to Action here.

Follow these links to learn more:
Onjisay Aki International Climate Summit
Climate Calls to Action


Why We Walk – Ross White


Ross White

When I was a 20-year-old Director of a church camp, I met some extraordinary people. I was representing my camp at an Alberta Camping Association Conference in Banff. Attending also were members of the Rocky Mountain Bush Camp—a program which took indigenous children into their hereditary land-based traditions for one week at a time. How surprised I was then that they invited me to come spend time at the Bush Camp! I’ll never forget sleeping in the tipi, sharing fresh deer meat and talking about how they carefully prepared for the children’s arrival. I felt so honored that they had reached out to a person like me—a non-indigenous, middle class kid—with no other agenda than to share their heritage and application of it.

This was well before the Reconciliation movement had begun. Their willingness to initiate the exchange of ideas was then, and has continued to be, a huge gift to me. Looking back, I realize the ongoing curiosity and openness I have now was activated by these humble, courageous folk. I have come to believe that while we live separately, we don’t have to. I see a day when we will live as respectful members of a rich and diverse common community, and we won’t use the word ‘reserve’ because we will use the word neighbour instead.


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.


Canada Day 2017

Jul 1, 2017

The 150th anniversary of Canadian confederation comes amidst heightened social awareness and momentum around reconciliation. We are at a critical crossroads of transformational change. 2017 has inspired us to reflect deeply on our past and actively shape our shared futures together. Now is a crucial time to recognize that within Canada, there are broken relationships among us that need nurturing.

“Canada 150” alludes to two vastly different narratives that hold different meanings for people who live in Canada—all of which must be recognized. Canada’s history stretches much longer than the 150 years since confederation, and we recognize that many Indigenous people feel as if the past 150 years do not warrant a celebration.

The conversations and awareness this year have provided us with the opportunity to engage thousands of Canadians on what this year means, and how we must all be part of the reconciliation process. This Canada Day we encourage you to register and commit to attending an important event later this year — The Walk for Reconciliation on September 24th, 2017. The Walk for Reconciliation is part of a positive movement to build commitment towards reconciliation and build stronger relationships among Indigenous peoples and all Canadians. It is designed to inspire action and transform the very essence of all our relationships and we encourage everyone to join us.

There are many ways for you to join us and take part in this historic event. Register for the walk. Invite your friends, family, colleagues and neighbours to join a walk team. Volunteer on the day of the Walk or at one of the community events we are participating in this summer. Donate to Reconciliation Canada. Learn more about sponsorship opportunities for the Walk for Reconciliation.

This is a historic moment for all of us. Each one of us plays an important role in building an inclusive and just society. This Canada Day, ask yourself what you can do to move reconciliation forward, and how you can build stronger, more resilient communities for all people in Canada.


Happy National Aboriginal Day from the Reconciliation Canada team!

Jun 21, 2017

2017 is a year of significant reflection, and Canadian society is on the verge of transformational change.
This National Aboriginal Day, we at Reconciliation Canada are asking you what you can do to forward reconciliation within your own community? Take the time to speak about our shared Canadian history with your children, friends and family members. As an act of reconciliation, we invite you to participate in our Walk for Reconciliation on September 24th in Vancouver—registration is now open! Click here to register now

Given the shared desire for a new way forward in Canada, we can all take this monumental opportunity to embrace a space for openness and real dialogue to create a mutual vision of the next 150 years.

We wish you all a great National Aboriginal Day.


In the Spirit of Reconciliation: An Intergenerational Gathering

May 1, 2017
Reconciliation Canada gathered spiritual leaders, elders and youth to reflect on the spiritual aspect of reconciliation and to learn from a rich diversity of perspectives, lived experiences, traditional teachings and cultural backgrounds. This intergenerational gathering was called “In the Spirit of Reconciliation”, and took place from April 5th to 7th, 2017, at Turtle Lodge in Sagkeeng First Nation, Manitoba.

Reconciliation Canada developed “In the Spirit of Reconciliation: An Intergenerational Gathering” within a framework of Indigenous values and traditions. The gathering included ceremonies, elders and youth shared their experiences, insights gained, and how to move reconciliation forward in respective home communities across Canada.

“For us at Reconciliation Canada, the gathering of spiritual leaders and youth became an affirmation that the concept of reconciliation is an ancient one that is embedded in the history of Peoples around the world.  It’s the teachings that speak to people about how we treat one another,” said Shelley Joseph, Lead, Dialogue Workshop Facilitator and Cultural & Wellness Advisor at Reconciliation Canada.

We are incredibly grateful to have partnered with Turtle Lodge, International Centre for Indigenous Education and Wellness. For more information about Turtle Lodge, visit their website.

Karen Joseph speaking at Turtle Lodge

Karen Joseph, CEO, speaking at Reconciliation Canada’s In the Spirit of Reconciliation: An Intergenerational Gathering (April 2017)

 

Chief Joseph at In the Spirit of Reconciliation: An Intergenerational Gathering

Chief Dr. Robert Joseph, Reconciliation Canada Ambassador speaking at In the Spirit of Reconciliation: An Intergenerational Gathering (April 2017)

Dialogue circle at In the Spirit of Reconciliation: An Intergenerational Gathering

Dialogue circle at In the Spirit of Reconciliation: An Intergenerational Gathering (April 2017)

Discussion group at In the Spirit of Reconciliation: An Intergenerational Gathering

Discussion groups at In the Spirit of Reconciliation: An Intergenerational Gathering (April 2017)


‘In The Spirit of Reconciliation’ is part of Reconciliation in Action: A National Engagement Strategy a Canada 150 Signature Project and is funded in part by the Government of Canada.

‘Dans un esprit de réconciliation’ est un partie de 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.

 

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

 
In addition, we acknowledge the generous financial support of The Sprott Foundation, Sisters of St. Ann, and The Anglican Healing Fund in making the delivery of this event possible.


Beau Dick – Until We Meet Again

Mar 28, 2017
It is with sadness and a heavy heart that we say goodbye to our dear friend and family member, Beau Dick. Beau passed away last night just before midnight. Beau was a son, brother, father, brother, nephew, Chief, master carver, mesmerizing orator, mentor, a leader and so much more. He was a prolific artist whose work perpetuated the culture and traditions of the Kwakwaka’wakw people. A man of infinite generosity and tremendous spirit, his loss will be felt throughout many families, communities and nations. We at Reconciliation Canada will keep in our hearts many memories of Beau including his magnificent contribution to the Walk for Reconciliation in 2013 with the design & creation of the start site, stage and masks along the route.

To his children, grandchildren, mother and all who loved him, we send our love and strength during this difficult time of saying ‘until we meet again’.



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.



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