The day following the historic Walk for Reconciliation through Downtown Ottawa, community leaders from all walks of life packed the Delta Hotel Ballroom for ‘Inspiring Reconciliaction: Creating a New Way Forward’. This event, a panel discussion that delved into the inter-generational and multi-cultural aspects of reconciliation, invited community leaders from all walks of life to reflect critically on their role in reconciliation.
Moderated by Dr. Philip Oxhorn, Professor of Political Science at McGill University, and Charlotte Hoelke, a PhD candidate in Canadian Studies at Carleton University, the panel opened with a prayer from spiritual advisor, Albert Dumont and then quickly dove into the matter at hand.
Reconciliation Canada Ambassador, Chief Dr. Robert Joseph, was joined by Jessica Bolduc, Project Coordinator of the 4Rs Youth Movement; Bob Watts, former CEO of the Assembly of First Nations; Todd Khozein of Second Muse; and Mary Simon, former president of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami.
Each panelist spoke on how they saw the state of reconciliation today and their own experiences, before the floor was opened to questions and comments from the audience. The panelists heard from residential school survivors, activists and community leaders, and fielded some thought-provoking questions including a discussion on the role of self-determination in the reconciliation process.
Reconciliation Canada is proud to have had the opportunity to host such an inspiring event. We offer our sincere gratitude to the panelists and moderators who helped deliver such an important discussion, and to our funders and sponsors for their generous support.
Most of all, we would like to thank all those who joined us to listen, learn and engage in discussion. Your participation in this event made it abundantly clear that the closing of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission is not the end; it is just the beginning and that we all have a role to play in reconciliation.