Vancouver, May 1, 2013.

As part of a growing movement towards building new relationships among Aboriginal and Canadian peoples, approximately 50 Aboriginal, government, business and community leaders are talking the talk – and walking the walk – in a Reconciliation Dialogue Workshop today in Vancouver.

Today’s event is the fifth in a series of Reconciliation Dialogue Workshops taking place across the province over the coming weeks.  Based on a traditional model of dialogue and storytelling, the workshops provide community leaders with the opportunity to discuss issues related to reconciliation, including the Indian Residential Schools and their intergenerational effects.  The workshops are designed to spark meaningful social change in BC, by giving participants the chance to share ideas and create plans for positive steps towards building resilient, sustainable communities.

Today’s workshop is being held at the Musqueam Cultural Centre.  Among the attendees is Chief Dr. Robert Joseph of the Gwawaenuk First Nation, Mayor Gregor Robertson, Order of Canada recipient Nancy McKinstry, Vancity Senior Vice President Linda Morris, Dr. Evan Adams, a well known Aboriginal actor and currently Deputy Provincial Health Officer, and Stephen Kakfwi, former Premier of the Northwest Territories and President of the Dene Nation.

The provincial workshops are part of a groundswell social movement that is leading up to events in Vancouver in September 2013, including an All Nations Canoe Gathering at False Creek on September 17 and the Walk for Reconciliation on September 22.  The Walk will bring together an estimated 50,000 people of all ages, backgrounds, faiths and cultures to celebrate diversity and show commitment for reconciliation.

Registration for the Walk for Reconciliation opens today. To find out more about the Walk or to register, click here.

“This is a pivotal moment in time and an opportunity for all the peoples of Canada to come together to build new relationships that are supported on a foundation of openness, dignity, understanding and hope. We are taking the diversity dialogue to a new level—engaging our youth with a positive message that inspires a hopeful outlook in their everyday life,” said Chief Joseph. “Reconciliation Canada is bridging communities and people to build a stronger, better future for all.”

Reconciliation Canada acknowledges the generous support of its founding partner, Vancouver City Savings Credit Union, and a strong and growing community of partners that are helping make events and dialogue circles possible.