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.