February 27, 2014

Media Corner 

Opinion: Reconciling injustices in a pluralistic Canada, Special to the Vancouver Sun, Mark Winston, January 28, 2014

Assembly of First Nations National Chief Agrees on a New Approach to Achieve FirstNations Control of First Nations Education, AFN, February 7, 2014

Poets explore reconciliation through new work, NationTalk, February 24, 2014

Reconciliation Dialogue Video Series by Simon Fraser University

In honour of the Jack P. Blaney Award presented to Chief Dr.Robert Joseph in January 2014, the Simon Fraser University Centre for Dialogue produceda series of videos around the themes of culture and ancestry, residentialschools, reconciliation and dialogue. These videos include:

  • Chief Robert Joseph - TributeVideo
  • Chief Robert Joseph - Part 1: Culture andAncestry
  • Chief Robert Joseph - Part 2: Residential SchoolExperience
  • Chief Robert Joseph - Part 3: Reconciliation
  • Chief Robert Joseph - What is Dialogue?
Click here to view them all.

In addition, you can watch the speeches of all feature speakers from the SFU Centre for Dialogue’s “Reconciling Injustices in a Pluralistic Canada” event on January 23, 2014. This series contains speeches from the following community leaders: 

  • Chief Robert Joseph, Ambassador for Reconciliation Canada, Recipient of the 2014 Jack P. Blaney Award for Dialogue 
  • Naveen Girn, cultural researcher for SFU’s Komagata Maru Journey project and community engagement specialist 
  • Judge Maryka Omatsu, Canada's first East Asian woman judge, key NAJC negotiator, 1988 Japanese Internment Redress Agreement, author of Bittersweet Passage. 
  • Dara Parker, Executive Director, QMUNITY, BC’s Queer Resource Centre 
  • Robbie Waisman, Buchenwald survivor, Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre Speaker 
  • Dr. Henry Yu, UBC History Professor, Co-Chair of City of Vancouver's "Dialogues between Urban Aboriginal, First Nations, and Immigrant Communities" Project, 2010-2012
Click here to view them all.

Victoria Community Dialogue Workshop 

On January 29th, 2014, Reconciliation Canada was delighted to host a Reconciliation Dialogue Workshop in Victoria, BC. 58 community leaders attended from a diverse range of groups including government, municipal, community, ecumenical, cultural, education, business, union and Aboriginal. Key individuals who participated in the workshop include: 

  • Hon. Dean Fortin, Mayor, City of Victoria 
  • Hon. Nils Jensen, Mayor, Oak Bay 
  • Hon. Alastair Bryson, Mayor, Central Saanich and Chair of the CRD Board 
  • Chief Ron Sam, Songhees First Nation 
  • Chief Andy Thomas, Esquimalt 
  • First NationPaul Lacerte, Executive Director, BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centers 
  • Dr. Martin Brokenleg, Circle of Courage & Reclaiming Youth International 
  • Gary MacIsaac, Executive Director, Union of BC Municipalities 
  • David Stevenson, Executive Director, Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation 

We'd like to acknowledge and thank all who participated.  The response to the workshop was positive, and participants were able to build new and meaningful relationships throughout the day. In particular, the sharing circles enhanced the awareness and understanding of reconciliation among participants, and increased their motivation to take action at a personal, professional and community level. The action planning session in the afternoon was inspiring and resulted in some concrete actions for participants to work on after the workshop. Some examples of action plans include the implementation of a reconciliation-based training program for employees and the organization of community workshops to educate and raise awareness on reconciliation and the history of Aboriginal communities in the region. 

We are pleased to share some feedback from participants: 

  • 'Before the workshop I was not aware that reconciliation was necessary. Now I see that it is needed in order to resolve historical conflicts' 
  • 'The workshop persuaded me to reach out to people from other cultures' 
  • 'I'm going to talk to my workplace and community and share information and talk about my experience today'

Reconciliation through Poetry

The Centre for Dialogue has commissioned poets Jordan Abel, Joanne Arnott, Juliane Okot Bitek, Jordan Scott and Daniel Zomparelli to write poems about reconciliation from diverse perspectives. This public event, held in partnership with Vancouver Public Library, will help to spread ideas of reconciliation to new audiences through poetry. Program elements will include a short address by Chief Joseph, the world premiere of the commissioned poems, dialogue among the poets and Chief Joseph and facilitated audience participation. Admission is free. This is happeing on February 27, 2014 from 7pm-9pm.  No registration required but seating is on a first-come, first-serve basis so come early!  Find out more here.

How you can help?  

Help us move our initiatives forward by making a donation. Reconciliation Canada is a charitable project, established as a collaboration between the Indian Residential School Survivor’s Society (IRSSS) and Tides Canada Initiatives Society (TCI). Your donations will help us move forward with our 2014 community initiatives, such as Dialogue Workshops and national outreach activities, and achieve our vision of A New Way Forward for all Canadians. 

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