September 30, 2015

Today is Every Child Matters Day!

September 30 is Orange Shirt - Every Child Matters Day. This is an annual day devoted to honoring survivors of the Indian Residential School System and remembering the children who did not return.

Please wear an orange to show your support of reconciliation. 

Click here for more information on Every Child Matters Day.

Still need an orange shirt? Our friend Carey Newman has designed some t-shirts for this year's Orange Shirt Day. They are available from directly from Carey over the next couple of days. Each t-shirt is $15 and all proceeds will go to the Witness Blanket Tour.For more information and to place an order click here.

Chief Joseph to Receive 2016 Indspire Lifetime Achievement Award

We are incredibly excited to announce that Reconciliation Canada Ambassador Chief Dr. Robert Joseph is to receive the 2016 Indspire Lifetime Achievement Award!

Chief Joseph's compassionate and peaceful approach to reconciliation not only inspires new hope and optimism for residential school survivors and their families, but also encourages reconciliation among Aboriginal peoples and all Canadians.

The 2016 Indspire Awards gala will be held on February 12, 2016 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver.

Indspire is an Indigenous-led registered charity that invests in the education of Indigenous peoples. The Indspire Awards have celebrated the significant contributions of Indigenous people in Canada and recognize the success of individuals who have the discipline, drive, and determination to set high standards and accomplish their goals.

All of us at Reconciliation Canada are extremely proud of Chief Joseph and we congratulate all of this year's Indspire Awards recipients.

A Symbolic Paddling Across the Burrard Inlet

On Tuesday, September 22, the Reconciliation Canada team had the opportunity to participate in a Canoe Learning Day. Led by Wes Nahanee from the Squamish Nation, the team embarked from Mosquito Creek Marina in North Vancouver on a journey across the Burrard Inlet towards Stanley Park. We experienced stories and legends of the waters and land as we paddled forward together as a team. 

September 22 holds particular significance to the Reconciliation Canada team. This day marks two years since the Walk for Reconciliation in downtown Vancouver. The walk brought together 70,000 people to show their shared desire for a new way forward in Canada, and their commitment to transforming relationships among Aboriginal peoples and all Canadians. 

 We are honoured that two years since that historic day, Reconciliation Canada is able to continue to work with communities across Canada towards building a more inclusive and just society.

We offer our sincere gratitude to Circle of Eagles Lodge Society for their generosity in allowing us to use their canoe, and to Wes Nahanee for his guidance and knowledge.

SFU Volunteer Fair

On Sept 23, Reconciliation Canada staff and volunteers made their way to Surrey to take part in SFU's Volunteer Fair. This was a fantastic opportunity to speak to students about the impacts of the Indian Residential School system and the importance of reconciliation. Thank you to everyone who signed up to volunteers with us -- it is with the support of the community that we are able to create change and forward our initiatives.

Support our 2015 Initiatives

Reconciliation Canada has many national initiatives and dialogue workshops planned for 2015. Help us move our initiatives forward by making a donation.

Reconciliation Canada - A New Way Forward Society is an Aboriginal-led, culturally diverse, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization.

Some of our 2015 initiatives include:

  • Reconciliation Dialogue Sessions & Action Plans
  • Reconciliation-Based Leadership Training & Core Competencies Assessments
  • Sustainable Economic Reconciliation Dialogue Sessions & Actions Plans
  • Public Awareness & Outreach

Encouraging BC Municipalities to Move Forward on Reconciliation

The Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) hosts an annual conference to discuss the achievements and trials within BC municipalities over the year, and to plan for the year to come. The 2015 Conference theme was Excellence in Action, and both Chief Dr. Robert Joseph and Karen Joseph were invited to present.

Chief Dr. Robert Joseph was invited to provide the invocation during the opening ceremony of the conference. He encouraged elected officials to contemplate the role of their respective municipalities in reconciliation, and how they can collectively shape the reconciliation process on a national level.

Reconciliation Canada's CEO, Karen Joseph delivered a presentation during the Moving Forward with First Nations session, alongside a number of notable delegates: Honourable John Rustad Mister of the Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation, Grand Chief Ed John, and Chief Councilor Ellis Ross. She spoke to the importance of building relationship between municipalities and First Nations, and together creating a new way forward through open, and honest dialogue. Highlighting community achievement, Karen devoted much of her presentation to a number of BC municipalities who are leading the way, and taking reconciliation action in their own communities. 

Chief Dr. Robert Joseph delivering the invocation during the opening ceremony of the UBCM conference.

Reconciliation Canada CEO Karen Joseph presenting during UBCM's Moving Forward with First Nations session.

Questions go out to Federal Parties on their Plans for Reconciliation

On August 27, Reconciliation Canada reached out to the leaders of Canada's five major parties with questions on how their party will move forward with reconciliation. This is a critical moment for all peoples in Canada. More Canadians than ever before are beginning to understand the current realities of the Indian Residential School legacy. We hope that by asking these important questions during the election campaign, we can maintain the national dialogue on reconciliation, promote leadership and action moving forward, and help individuals make informed decisions during the 2015 Canadian federal election.

We asked party leaders to answer the following questions: 

  • What steps will your party take to create a deeper understanding of the current realities of the Indian Residential School legacy for all Canadians? 
  • What steps will your party take to move forward with reconciliation among Aboriginal peoples and all Canadians?
  • What steps will your party take to achieve economic parity between Aboriginal peoples and all Canadians? 
We encourage you to share these questions with your local candidates to find out how they will move forward with reconciliation in your community.  
This letter is part of our Election 2015 Resource Page, which aims to raise awareness of reconciliation topics in the upcoming election. This page includes information and resources to help individuals contribute to the important conversations on our collective future.

Click here to view our Election 2015 Resource Page
Click here to view and download the letter

Introducing RC's Guest Blog

We are delighted to announce the new Reconciliation Canada blog! We've been inspired by the stories that people have told us and the reconciliation work that they have done -- and continue to do. We hope that, by sharing these stories, this blog will help to inspire other people on their own reconciliation journeys.

This blog is a space for you to join the conversation. We welcome blog posts on a variety of topics, and are particularly interested to hear about reconciliation projects in your local community, school, workplace or organization. We'd also love to hear from individuals who are combining personal transformation with action.

If you're interested in contributing to our blog, please drop us an email at with the subject line "Reconciliation Canada Blog Submission"and tell us what you'd like to talk about in your post. We welcome written articles, videos, photographs and artwork.

We look forward to learning from you all.

RC joins Community Foundations of Canada for Reconciliation Strategic Planning on Wasan Island, Ontario

Reconciliation Canada's work and initiatives this summer have given us the opportunity to connect with individuals, communities and organizations across Canada who are taking action on reconciliation. In June, we had the privilege of joining community leaders from across the country to work with Community Foundations of Canada (CFC) towards integrating reconciliation practices into their strategic plan.

This gathering took place on Wasan Island in Muskoka Lakes, Ontario. Marissa Lawrence, Director of Strategic Initiatives and Kristen Rivers, Community Engagement Coordinator, from Reconciliation Canada joined more than a dozen individuals from a broad range of organizations that work within Aboriginal communities. The important discussions that took place will guide the work of the CFC in supporting reconciliation and promoting improved outcomes in Aboriginal communities moving forward.

Reconciliation Canada is enormously proud to have been part in these important conversations and grateful to have the opportunity to connect with such influential community leaders from across Canada. We offer our heartfelt thanks to CFC and all of the individuals and organizations that took part.