May 30, 2014

Photo credit: Shona Dion

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Aboriginal Community Forum: Talk Healthy City for All Ideas Lab

The City of Vancouver is developing a Healthy City Strategy as the third component of their overall plan for sustainability. To ensure that the voices of the Aboriginal community are heard within this plan, the City of Vancouver is hosting an Aboriginal Ideas Lab at the Ray Cam Community Centre on June 10th from 6:00pm – 8:30pm.  Chief Joseph will be presenting as the Keynote Speaker and Ideas Catalyst. 

To register or find out more, click here

Songs for Reconciliation

William Wasden Jr. and The Vancouver Park Board invite all people to come together in the spirit of reconciliation to work towards sharing truths about residential school history and First Nations children. Read more Songs for Reconciliation here.  

Public art marks Vancouver's Year of Reconciliation

The City of Vancouver’s Public Art Program is celebrating the City's Year of Reconciliation with the commission of 10 new artist projects throughout Vancouver. The artworks will be exhibited until October 2014 in high profile locations across the city including bus shelters, video screens, the atrium of the Vancouver Public Library Central Branch and the entrance to the Vancouver City Centre Canada Line Station. The Year of Reconciliation is a call to action for all Canadians to come together to build more inclusive communities, and the Platforms project aims to stimulate awareness and discussion of historical impacts of residential schools, racial injustices, and ideas of reconciliation. Proposals were selected by a panel of artists and art professionals, and include work from Vancouver-based artists Krista Belle Stewart, Brian Lu, Gabrielle Hill and Bracken Hanuse Corlett.  You can find out more about the artists and artworks, exhibition timeline, and background on the Platforms project here

Are you a community leader in Vancouver? Check out FUEL on May 29-30!

Calling all leaders, entrepreneurs, designers and engaged citizens! FUEL is a for-profit social enterprise highlighted by large scale public events that serve as a platform for people to discuss the social, environmental and technological shifts of our time. This inaugural event right here in Vancouver will explore the future of how we live, work and lead across four sectors relevant to our city; Food, Design, Sustainability and Technology. The program includes a holistic mix of dialogue, sessions and workshops, and is open to anyone who wants to realize their ideas and ignite the culture of Vancouver. For further information and to buy tickets visit:

Chief Dr. Robert Joseph awarded an honorary Doctorate of Divinity

Reconciliation Canada is proud to announce that Chief Joseph was presented with the degree of Doctor of Divinity honoris causa by Vancouver School of Theology on Monday May 5th. The citation was presented by Rev. Dr. Paula Sampson, who acknowledged Chief Joseph’s "unparalleled leadership, counseling and support for former students of residential schools". His significant role in helping improve relationships between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities, particularly churches, was also noted. Reconciliation Canada is proud that Vancouver School of Theology recognizes that the Aboriginal worldview which Chief Joseph holds as yet another of many Aboriginal gifts that can lead all of us from harm to health. This presentation marks Chief Joseph’s second honorary degree; in 2003 he was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Law degree by the University of British Columbia.

Photo credit: Shona Dion

SFU Reconciling Injustices in a Pluralistic Canada Dialogue Report

SFU Centre for Dialogue has released the Dialogue Report and updated Discussion Guide from the January 23 Reconciling Injustices in a Pluralistic Canada community dialogue, highlighting principles to support the reconciliation of a broad range of historical and contemporary injustices in Canadian society. Reconciling Injustices in a Pluralistic Canada was one of the most comprehensive events ever held in Canada to highlight the knowledge and expertise that stakeholders themselves bring to reconciling injustices. Included in the dialogue’s 109 participants were community leaders involved in the reconciliation of specific injustices, representatives from three levels of government, decision-makers from major institutions and members of the public. Major themes from the Dialogue Report include: 

  • Clarity of purpose about the intended beneficiaries of reconciliation and the roles of other stakeholders. 
  • Addressing power structures through participatory decision making, balanced community representation and responsiveness to communities that lack political influence. 
  • Developing shared values and intentions to create a focus on long-term relationships and outcomes rather than short-term political actions. 
  • Acknowledgement, education and informed action, where governments take steps to communicate the full history and scope of past injustices without revisionism. 
  • More than I’m Sorry, where governments demonstrate accountability by taking substantive actions to repair the harm resulting from past injustices. 
  • A deep exchange of ideas and experiences, where opportunities exist for in-depth, two way communication between government and the affected community, space is available for communities to work through internal disagreement, and opportunities exist for affected individuals to tell their stories.
To view the full report, click here.  

Volunteers and artwork combined at Timeraiser

Reconciliation Canada participated in a national event called Timeraiser this month, which aims to creatively connect people to causes they care about. Potential volunteers discussed opportunities with local non-profits, then bid on artwork with their volunteer time (in 5 hour increments). The winners walked home with a one of a kind painting, and have a whole year to complete their pledge. This was the 5th annual Timeraiser in Vancouver, and was the first year that 5 other Timeraiser events were being held on the same night in Calgary, Montreal, Regina, St. John’s and Winnipeg. The Reconciliation Canada team was excited to talk to so many community-minded participants, and we can’t wait to work with our new volunteers! 

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 initiatives, which include:

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

Help us achieve our vision of A New Way Forward for all Canadians. 

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