August 27, 2013

Anastasia Koutalianos

According to the astrological omens, 2013 will be a year of great transition. The time has come to redirect our energies and mosey along into perfect bliss.

Well, so the stars say.

It gets me thinking about the past and how often we’d rather live in the imaginary than face the facts. Without our pink glasses, jadedness, clouded vision or by numbing away the hard times. RememberEternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind? How easy would life be if we could erase the moments that nearly destroyed us—and the people who’ve challenged our very being?

Life isn’t always so simple. Sometimes it’s best to acknowledge the good, the bad and the ugly—and live the present with an open heart and mind. At least this is Chief Robert Joseph’s motto. A former Indian residential school survivor, and ambassador to Reconciliation Canada, Joseph is ready to move onto the next chapter when it comes to Aboriginal peoples and all Canadians: one of dialogue and healing. With the legacy of Indian residential schools here, Reconciliation Canada is set on changing the script.


Formed in 2012, in partnership with the Indian Residential School Survivor’s Society and Tides Canada Initiatives Society (and partners Vancity, the City of Vancouver and more)—Reconciliation Canada recognizes the trials and tribulations of Aboriginal peoples. And it sees the past for all it is, and says: no more. Instead of rehashing what was, it seeks the opportunity for reconciling and community healing of our shared history—rather than our differences—and walk together in peace.

 “We cannot walk alone, and as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back. […].”

— Martin Luther King, Jr., I Have a Dream 

On September 22, Reconciliation Canada wants to flood the streets with people of all colours, cultures and faiths as we walk for change. This is not a protest or a call for political action. This is a new way forward. The Walk for Reconciliation is an opportunity to find a new way forward and “to find peace within,” says Joseph.

The Walk for Reconciliation’s primary mission was to strengthen ties between Aboriginal peoples and other Canadians, but it speaks to all multicultural communities—communities which themselves have suffered similar traumas. On September 22, everyone come and walk for a better future.

‘Namwayut: We Are All One.

Teams and individuals can register (optional) to walk here(Route maps coming soon.)

Experience Reconciliation Week Sept. 16-22. Events include Lighting the Flame of Reconciliation, Canoe Gathering and more in partnership with Truth and Reconciliation Commission

What does Reconciliation mean to you? Share your photos and comments