Reconciliation Dialogue Workshops create a safe place to engage all peoples in Canada in dialogue that increases understanding of our shared history, and explores the meaning of reconciliation and our respective role to play.
Workshops are modeled on an Indigenous circle process that creates a supportive and safe environment for meaningful dialogue and relationship building to occur. Together participants explore pathways to reconciliation and develop community- based and community-driven reconciliation action plans.
Each workshop offers a truly powerful and transformative experience, and creates a solid foundation for building meaningful relationships between Indigenous peoples and all Canadians.
Goals of the dialogue circles
- Increase understanding of our shared histories, starting with the history and intergenerational impacts of the Indian Residential School system.
- Build resilient, mutually beneficial relationships within and among diverse communities.
- Explore shared pathways to reconciliation.
- Develop specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely (SMART) reconciliation action plans.
Structure of the circles
Each workshop will create a safe space for participants to share personal stories, discuss visions for a better future, and to develop individual and collective reconciliation action plans. The workshop begins in a large circle with introductions of the participants, the work of Reconciliation Canada and the shared history of the Indian Residential School system and current reality of inter-generational impacts. Afterwards, the attendees form smaller circles to discuss the meaning of reconciliation, share personal experiences and insights, and to explore the role they can play in it based on their particular set of strengths, skills and abilities.
Dependent on the scope of the workshop, participants may include Survivors, Indigenous leaders, policy-makers, community leaders, multi-cultural and faith groups, and other interested community members. Some workshops target specific demographic and professional groups and can be tailored to the interests of young adults or corporate leaders, for example.
Participants are encouraged to explore their own personal journey of reconciliation, and the process of reconciliation within their own families, communities and organizations.
“By hearing personal stories and sharing my own, relationships were nurtured, a humanness and humanity brought back into our circles and into our lives. This makes us one, strengthens us, and sustains us.” – Workshop participant
“The more I hear the more I learn. The more I learn about others, and their work, it empowers me to do more.” – Workshop participant
“My expectations were fulfilled through open dialogue and vulnerable sharing.” – Workshop participant
The Reconciliation Dialogue Workshops and outreach activities are designed to provide opportunities for community leaders to build meaningful partnerships, create synergies and identify collaboration opportunities that work towards building vibrant and sustainable communities for our shared future.
Impact Story: Arlene Strom
“Working at Suncor and with Aboriginal communities, I knew about the stories but being able to hear the personal experiences of people who were willing to share and be vulnerable really helps you to see and understand what it actually means on a multigenerational level.” – Arlene Strom, Suncor Energy Inc.
Learn more about Arlene’s experience as a participant of a Reconciliation Dialogue Workshop here.
If you wish to bring a Reconciliation Dialogue Workshop to your community, click here.
For more information on Reconciliation Dialogue Workshops, please contact: