Reconciliation Canada stands with the Mi’kmaq People who are lawfully trying to exercise their inherent right to fish as affirmed by the Supreme Court of Canada 21 years ago.
Reconciliation Canada is horrified by the racial tension rising on the shores of Nova Scotia over the lobster fishery. It is inexcusable that the Mi’kmaq People still cannot exercise their inherent right to fish as affirmed in the landmark supreme court ruling in the case of Donald Marshall Jr.. The ruling affirmed that Mi’kmaq had the right to earn a moderate living from the fishery.
We are a nation that cherishes the rule of law. But we also stand proudly on the premise that this law is entrenched solidly on the redeeming notions of justice and equality.
So, why are we here in this moment confronted with signs of hatred, violence and vigilantism?
Why is the verdict of our highest court in the land not applied, not honoured? Twenty-one years is far too long. We have all failed the Mi’kmaq.
Our relationship, Indigenous and non-indigenous, is on trial once again, just as it was on the Wetsuwaten stand-off.
Reconciliation Canada calls on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to engage his high office’s influence to bring all the parties together to seek resolution mutually. To call for peace and reconciliation that creates a pathway forward that is inclusive and shares prosperity.
We call on the Minister of Fisheries and the Department of Fisheries to avail all of its resources and expertise to expedite a process that will lead to mutual agreement and benefit.
To the RCMP, keep the peace and protect and serve.
To all others, call for a peaceful and just solution to this precarious conflict.
Let us try to advance reconciliation. Namwayut- We are all one.
Our Ambassador Chief Robert Joseph shared the following statement regarding the current dialogue on racial injustice:
To everyone who has walked with us, worked with us, supported us, partnered with us, now is a time to take action.
People are standing up against the injustice of the killing of George Floyd in the U.S. There are countless stories in Canada as well.
Systemic racism is not new. What’s new, is it is being filmed on smartphones and shared on social media. It’s being brought to light like never before.
See something, say something.
Contact your local, provincial, federal leaders and tell them, it’s not ok to treat people differently because of race. Have hard conversations with your family, friends, neighbours, co-workers and bosses. Racism has to end. It’s time to get on the right side of history. It’s time to embrace our common humanity like never before.
We cannot afford to stand silently any longer.
Martin Luther King Jr. said: “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
Now is the time to embrace and live out: Namwayut – We Are All One
Reconciliation Canada presents a video series on staying resilient during the troubling times of the COVID-19 pandemic. Through traditional teachings, our Ambassador Chief Robert Joseph explores how to respond to challenges, recover from difficulties and setbacks, and build emotional and spiritual resilience.
I trembled at the moment as BC MLA’s voted unanimously to give first reading to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples on Oct 24, 2019, in the provincial legislature.
It was impressive and inspiring because all I had ever seen in the course of my lifetime (80yrs) was the denial or trampling of Indigenous rights. As a tear or two trickled down my cheek, I experienced the wonder of the human spirit. My fundamental faith and belief in the sometimes elusive goodness of others were once again affirmed.
“This bill, when passed, will deepen the human rights of Indigenous Peoples and elevate all of us to new heights,” I thought.
The pride I felt for our Indigenous leaders, grand chiefs Ed John, Stewart Philips, Terry Teegee and Cheryl Cashmere was immeasurable as I listened to them speak to the bill.
My respect for Premier John Horgan, the Honorable Scott Fraser and BC Liberal Party leader Andrew Wilkinson and all MLA’s was deepened.
Much work will be required following the passage of the bill. Let us all stay the course.
The moral and legal persuasion of United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is ultimately strengthened by the legislative framework passed by the B.C. government today.
This is one of the most significant human rights milestones achieved for Indigenous peoples by any government in the world. B.C. has set a legislative precedent that can guide the way forward for all provinces across this country as well as at the federal level for meaningful recognition and engagement.
This legislation will allow us to recognize the constitutional and human rights of Indigenous people. At the same time, it will be a beacon for all of us to advance reconciliation as recommended by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. The bill will create a foundational pillar for deepened inclusion and equality for all without diminishing the same for all others.
The UN Declaration does not create new rights. It upholds the same human rights and fundamental freedoms recognized in the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and international human rights law. This is something we should all aspire to and be proud of.
Over time the UN declaration will be harmonized with provincial law that will serve the needs of British Columbians. The B.C. government should be applauded for its extraordinary courage for taking this giant step for our society.
Reconciliation Canada gathered spiritual leaders, elders and youth to reflect on the spiritual aspect of reconciliation and to learn from a rich diversity of perspectives, lived experiences, traditional teachings and cultural backgrounds. This intergenerational gathering was called “In the Spirit of Reconciliation”, and took place from April 5th to 7th, 2017, at Turtle Lodge in Sagkeeng First Nation, Manitoba.
Reconciliation Canada developed “In the Spirit of Reconciliation: An Intergenerational Gathering” within a framework of Indigenous values and traditions. The gathering included ceremonies, elders and youth shared their experiences, insights gained, and how to move reconciliation forward in respective home communities across Canada.
“For us at Reconciliation Canada, the gathering of spiritual leaders and youth became an affirmation that the concept of reconciliation is an ancient one that is embedded in the history of Peoples around the world. It’s the teachings that speak to people about how we treat one another,” said Shelley Joseph, Lead, Dialogue Workshop Facilitator and Cultural & Wellness Advisor at Reconciliation Canada.
We are incredibly grateful to have partnered with Turtle Lodge, International Centre for Indigenous Education and Wellness. For more information about Turtle Lodge, visit their website.
Karen Joseph, CEO, speaking at Reconciliation Canada’s In the Spirit of Reconciliation: An Intergenerational Gathering (April 2017)
Chief Dr. Robert Joseph, Reconciliation Canada Ambassador speaking at In the Spirit of Reconciliation: An Intergenerational Gathering (April 2017)
Dialogue circle at In the Spirit of Reconciliation: An Intergenerational Gathering (April 2017)
Discussion groups at In the Spirit of Reconciliation: An Intergenerational Gathering (April 2017)
‘In The Spirit of Reconciliation’ is part of Reconciliation in Action: A National Engagement Strategy a Canada 150 Signature Project and is funded in part by the Government of Canada.
‘Dans un esprit de réconciliation’ est un partie de Réconciliation en action : une stratégie d’engagement nationale est un projet de premier plan de Canada 150. Ce projet est financé en partie par le gouvernement du Canada.
Reconciliation in Action: A National Engagement Strategy,
a Canada 150 Signature Project, is funded in part by the Government of Canada
Réconciliation en action : une stratégie d’engagement nationale
est un projet de premier plan de Canada 150. Ce projet est financé en partie par le gouvernement du Canada.
In addition, we acknowledge the generous financial support of The Sprott Foundation, Sisters of St. Ann, and The Anglican Healing Fund in making the delivery of this event possible.