Creating a New Way Forward
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC) release of the long anticipated report was celebrated with an exciting event at the Simon Fraser University Goldcorp Centre for the Arts in Downtown Vancouver. The event – a panel discussion representing a diversity of Canadian voices – was to explore and reflect on the TRC’s legacy, and future of reconciliation in Canada.
Although representing many communities, the panelists all voiced a message of hope with respect to moving forward after the close of the TRC; there was a collective vision that the lessons from the TRC can be applied across Canadian society to build stronger, more tolerant and engaged communities.
After an inspiring introduction and welcome to Coast Salish Territory by Chief Ian Campbell, each of the esteemed panelists came forward and presented their views and vision for reconciliation in Canada.
This panel event was joined by notable community leaders Linda Morris, Senior Vice President, Business Development, Member and Community Engagement, Vancity; Honorary Witness Robbie Waisman; Honorary Witness Mayor Gregor Robertson; Jodie Wilson-Reybould, former BC Assembly of First Nations Regional Chief; Honorary Witness David Wong; Reverend Mary Fontaine, Hummingbird Ministries and Doug White, Director, Centre for Pre-Confederation Treaties and Reconciliation, Vancouver Island University.
Jodie Wilson-Reybould was hopeful that the TRC’s work would act as a lens to help Canadians to empathize, and that it could act as a catalyst for change.
Honorary Witnesses Robbie Waisman and David Wong emphasized the importance of sharing experiences of resilience and reconciliation, and how these stories can resonate across communities.
Doug White highlighted the point that social change is not just about denouncing what we don’t want, but building and supporting the things that we do.
The event highlighted that all Canadians play a key role in reconciliation, and that reconciliation is a process which will not end with the report’s release. Many of the panelists spoke about the accomplishments of the TRC, but the there was a firm agreement that there is still a great deal left to be done, and that all Canadians can play a role.
Reconciliation Canada would like to extend our appreciation to all those who supported this event. We thank all of the attendees, sponsors, panelists, volunteers and other individuals who made this events possible. We are proud to be involved in such engaging events that foster understanding, dialogue and community building.