Jessica Bolduc has been on a lifelong reconciliation journey. For her, moments and stories, invitations and opportunities have landed her as part of a team of young people looking to move reconciliation forward in Canada. As Executive Director of the 4Rs Youth Movement, a youth-led initiative that focuses on connecting Indigenous and non-Indigenous young people in Canada, Bolduc wanted 4Rs to be more involved with other reconciliation organizations.
As part of the closing of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), Bolduc was invited to participate in Reconciliation Canada’s panel discussion Inspiring Reconciliaction: Creating a New Way Forward, where she spoke on her work of bringing together youth through dialogue and learning. This panel followed the Walk for Reconciliation, which saw 10,000 people walk through downtown Ottawa. Participating in that historic moment were two bus loads of youth who were brought in from Toronto by 4Rs, Inspirit Foundation, Canadian Roots Exchange and KAIROS.
“Together we participated in the Walk for Reconciliation,” said Bolduc. “We were a part of history.”
Looking forward, Bolduc will be taking some time to pause and reflect to better understand what is needed to support young people in coming together through face-to-face dialogue.
Through her work with 4Rs, Bolduc will continue to encourage communities to create spaces for Indigenous youth to learn about who they are as well as for allies to learn about how they can support reconciliation.
“My vision for reconciliation is one where my nieces and nephews have equal opportunity as any other child living here to be who they want to be,” reflects Bolduc. “It’s not so much to ask.”
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