Reconciliation on Film – Week 4: At the UN – Wapikoni Mobile Speaks Out

Jan 4, 2016

At the UN – Wapikoni Mobile Speaks Out

Filmmaker: Wapikoni Mobile Team
 
On May 30th 2013, the young Anishnabe filmmaker, Emilio Wawatie, represented Wapikoni mobile at the UN. A truly memorable moment!


This is the fourth film in a six part series of short films on the theme of reconciliation. These films are produced by young Indigenous filmmakers with the help of Wapikoni Mobile. For over ten years, Wapikoni Mobile has been working with Aboriginal youth in Canada to encourage expression through music and film. Their mobile studios, sometimes referred to as “youth centres on wheels”, have travelled to some of the most remote First Nations communities in the country, providing workshops and mentoring to young participants.

Click here to read more about this film series.

 


WAPIKONI_BRANDING2013 - vFINAL


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


Reconciliation on Film – Week 3: The Path

Dec 28, 2015

The Path

Filmmaker: Debby Flamand
 
Debby worries about her daughter Julie. Together, they decide to take the 120 km walk between Wemotaci and Manawan with the Dr. Stanley Vollant team.


This is the third film in a six part series of short films on the theme of reconciliation. These films are produced by young Indigenous filmmakers with the help of Wapikoni Mobile. For over ten years, Wapikoni Mobile has been working with Aboriginal youth in Canada to encourage expression through music and film. Their mobile studios, sometimes referred to as “youth centres on wheels”, have travelled to some of the most remote First Nations communities in the country, providing workshops and mentoring to young participants.

Click here to read more about this film series.

 


WAPIKONI_BRANDING2013 - vFINAL


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


Reconciliation on Film – Week 2: Correcting the Chalkboard

Dec 21, 2015

Correcting the Chalkboard

Filmmaker: Wapikoni Mobile Team
 
This video contains language that some viewers may find offensive
 
On a blank chalkboard, youth from Manawan rewrite the stories of their lives.


This is the second in a six part series of short films on the theme of reconciliation. These films are produced by young Indigenous filmmakers with the help of Wapikoni Mobile. For over ten years, Wapikoni Mobile has been working with Aboriginal youth in Canada to encourage expression through music and film. Their mobile studios, sometimes referred to as “youth centres on wheels”, have travelled to some of the most remote First Nations communities in the country, providing workshops and mentoring to young participants.

Click here to read more about this film series.

 


WAPIKONI_BRANDING2013 - vFINAL


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


Reconciliation on Film – Week 1: The Joy of Living

Dec 14, 2015

The Joy of Living 

Filmmaker: Jérémy Vassiliou 

Jérémy delivers a message of hope by talking about the things that give him the will to live.


 

This is the first in a six part series of short films on the theme of reconciliation. These films are produced by young Indigenous filmmakers with the help of Wapikoni Mobile. For over ten years, Wapikoni Mobile has been working with Aboriginal youth in Canada to encourage expression through music and film. Their mobile studios, sometimes referred to as “youth centres on wheels”, have travelled to some of the most remote First Nations communities in the country, providing workshops and mentoring to young participants.

Click here to read more about this film series.

 


WAPIKONI_BRANDING2013 - vFINAL


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


Andrea Reimer – Councillor, City of Vancouver

Sep 19, 2014

Andrea Reimer has been a catalyst in the historical initiatives and actions that the City of Vancouver has undertaken to advance Reconciliation.

The City of Vancouver was the first municipality in Canada to proclaim a ‘Year of Reconciliation’ that began on National Aboriginal Day, June 21, 2013. This proclamation acknowledges the harms that were done to Indigenous people, including the residential school system, and created a space for meaningful reconciliation gatherings, apologies, dialogues, public education and artistic initiatives to take place.

Throughout this year of reconciliation, the City of Vancouver worked closely with Reconciliation Canada, the City’s Urban Aboriginal Peoples Advisory Committee, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada and hundreds of community partners. For Andrea, “the year of reconciliation had a transformative impact on the people that were directly touched by coming to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission events, the canoe gathering, the library activities, the lunch and learns, or the walk for reconciliation. You could almost see them turning and shifting their perspectives and directions.”

Andrea recalls a very emotional moment at a community reconciliation event where a young Indigenous woman gave her a hug after the event and said: “I never knew I mattered to the City of Vancouver”. Andrea says this was one of those moments where she felt the world shifting: “For a thirteen or fourteen year old to know that she really matters is so important. She will go on to be a strong leader in her community, in my community, and she will inspire other strong leaders. That is the change that matters.”

For Andrea, as we go forward together, our process of reconciliation has to address the issues of economic disparity that still exists between Indigenous communities and the majority of Canadians. As economic reconciliation is essential, the City of Vancouver will work towards this goal by deepening and strengthening its relationships with the Musqueam, the Squamish and the Tsleil-Waututh nations.

The concept of a Year of Reconciliation is very powerful but it has a formal end date to work that is only just beginning. How do we reconcile this? First, the City has formally acknowledged that we are on the unceded traditional territory of the three Host First Nations. This means acknowledging that there is an inherent right to economic prosperity for all. Second, Mayor and Council have approved the concept of designating Vancouver as a City of Reconciliation. Defining what this means will be a collective process that each one of us can participate in.

Andrea believes that Vancouver can play a leadership role in supporting other municipalities that are ready to embrace reconciliation: “You cannot legislate for someone to reconcile but you can create that space for reconciliation to happen so that we get to the place we need to be together”.

For more information:


Lillian Howard, Co-Chair, Urban Aboriginal Peoples Advisory Committee


For Lillian Howard, reconciliation has both a personal and professional meaning. As a residential school survivor and Co-Chair of the Urban Aboriginal Peoples Advisory Committee (UAPAC), for Howard, reconciliation has been a long journey.

When Chief Robert Joseph presented the idea of Reconciliation Week to UAPAC, Howard became very involved.

A resolution was tabled, with the help of Councillor Andrea Reimer, to extend Reconciliation Week to the Year of Reconciliation. It also sought to officially name Vancouver as the City of Reconciliation and acknowledge the rights of indigenous peoples in the UN declaration.

To their delight, city council passed it unanimously.

“There has been a lot of relationship building between City Hall, local first nations and different organisations,” says Howard. “We were ready for Reconciliation Week, but had no idea what to expect.”

Howard was among Indigenous and community leaders who produced 13 doable items and 25 recommendations at the Reconciliation Summit, which initiated Vancouver’s Year of Reconciliation.

One of the first events of Reconciliation Week, the All Nations Canoe Gathering was particularly memorable for Howard. Canoe gatherings play an important role in Indigenous communities as healing journeys, to which Howard can attest.

“For the first time I felt like we were formally welcomed by the local first nations,” says Howard. “I feel like I can live here now with dignity and pride.”

Howard also shared her story as a residential school survivor at the Truth and Reconciliation Forum. “It was difficult, to remember the awful things,” she says. “But it allowed me to reconcile in my heart.”

The events helped her realise that reconciliation has to take place not just at a personal level, but a societal level – and it was the Walk for Reconciliation which demonstrated reconciliation’s positive societal impact.

“It was a monumental moment of support for the Aboriginal community,” she says. “Seeing people walking hand-in-hand in the rain is a moment I will never forget.”

After Reconciliation Week’s success, Howard partnered with several Vancouver community centres to share her residential school experience. Over several months, she was involved in teaching participants 10 reconciliation songs and created a button blanket project, which were shared – with great success—on National Aboriginal Day, June 21, 2014.

“The reconciliation process is really important,” says Howard. “It’s painful to share our stories, but absolutely important in order to feel at home.”

For more information:


Mark Winston – Former Academic Director, Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences and Fellow, Simon Fraser University Centre for Dialogue


Mark Winston believes that building relationships is the first piece in creating a reconciled world. This philosophy guided the workshop series held at SFU’s Centre for Dialogue with Reconciliation Canada, for Vancouver’s Year of Reconciliation.

From January to March 2014, SFU held five different events to explore reconciliation and the real actions participants could take to promote it in their own communities.

For Winston, the SFU Reconciliation Dialogue Workshop, which had students exploring the idea of reconciliation, was particularly successful. Over two days, students, faculty and staff from SFU explored reconciliation within the university context.

The students generated many exciting ideas, such as a day of indigenization – in which every course has some Indigenous component—as well as more exposure to First Nation’s culture for students.

A similar workshop involved a number of Vancouver school districts, and saw over 150 high school students, their teachers and administrators participate. In small groups, they learned more about Indigenous peoples and their history and discussed projects to initiate in their own high school. Other events included a poetry event in partnership with the Vancouver Public Library and a workshop on pluralism and reconciliation between various groups in Canadian society who had experienced injustices.

SFU presented Chief Robert Joseph with the 2014 Jack P. Blaney Award for Dialogue for his work on promoting reconciliation in Canada. “Chief Robert Joseph’s honesty and humanity set the workshop’s tone,” says Winston. “We wanted to honor his contributions, but also to create a platform where the ideas of reconciliation could be further explored.”

Winston feels that the model of small diverse groups exploring reconciliation together was critical to the workshop’s success, because participants were able to learn from each other’s experiences in a comfortable, safe environment.

“The workshops allow participants to build relationships and understand which general principals of reconciliation might apply across the board, and across Canadian society,” says Winston.

Winston believes Canadians genuinely want to understand Indigenous history and reconcile past mistakes – and that it’s important to take the time to do so.

For Winston, reconciliation is all about people. “To me, reconciliation means understanding and listening. It means doing whatever we can to learn from injustices and correct them.”

“You can’t do a one hour event to create reconciliation; you have to take the time to reflect,” he says. “For students, who are figuring out their impact on society, it is critical to reflect, listen and explore reconciliation.”

For more information on the SFU Dialogue events with Reconciliation Canada:



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