June 30, 2015

The Honourable Judith Guichon, Chief Dr. Robert Joseph and his granddaughter Sadie and BCAAFC Paul Lacerte at the 2015 Order of British Columbia Investiture Ceremony

Inspiring Reconciliaction: Creating a New Way Forward

Monday, June 1, 2015 | Ottawa, ON

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.  

Inspiring Reconciliaction: Creating a New Way Forward was hosted by Reconciliation Canada at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada Closing Events.

Inspiring Reconciliaction: Creating a New Way Forward was funded by:

We extend our sincere appreciation to our sponsors who made this panel discussion possible.

Platinum Sponsor:

Gold Sponsor:

Bronze Sponsor:


Walking for a New Way Forward - Suncor Energy's Arlene Strom at the Walk for Reconciliation

On May 31, Arlene Strom, Vice President, Sustainability and Communications, was one of thousands who joined the Walk for Reconciliation through downtown Ottawa. Inspired by the work of Reconciliation Canada, Strom was eager to be part of this historic moment. 

“Having the walk in our national capital helps reinforce how important reconciliation is for all of Canada,” explained Strom. 

Strom first became involved with Reconciliation Canada in 2014 when she attended a Reconciliation Dialogue Workshop in Fort McMurray, Alberta. This workshop was an impactful experience, and she was struck by the way that the facilitators maintained a space that allowed for honest, open dialogue.She came away from this workshop asking: “What can I do to help?”

Strom’s commitment was to educate those in her community about reconciliation. 

“I do that often by sharing the very powerful experience I had that day, and continuing to learn about stories from those who suffered the multi-generational impacts of the residential school system.” 

Since becoming a partner of Reconciliation Canada in 2013, Suncor has hosted a number of Reconciliation Canada initiatives to engage their staff and senior leadership. During these sessions, Strom noticed the transformative experience among her colleagues in terms of their knowledge and education of the impacts of the residential school system.

“There has been a shift in the conversations, even in the last five to ten years. And Reconciliation Canada enabled that shift. They help to challenge and inspire us” 

However, Strom recognizes that there is a long way to go and that Suncor has a role to play in this journey.

“Suncor has a natural obligation to strengthen its relationships with Aboriginal communities. And as Canada’s largest energy corporation, we are able to play an even bigger role - we need to listen, we need to learn, so that we can figure out what this role is and how to move forward.”

Walking in Ottawa, Strom found herself at an intersection of her personal and professional life. 

“The event, and contributing to reconciliation is important to me personally but I am also very proud to work for a company that has a principled Aboriginal relations policy and supports many Aboriginal organizations, including Reconciliation Canada. I was proud to be a Suncor employee and a Canadian, hoping for a new way forward.”

Karen Joseph and Arlene Strom at the Walk for Reconciliation in Ottawa

Suncor Energy Inc.’s generous Platinum Level sponsor of Inspiring Reconciliaction: Creating a New Way Forward helped make the event possible. We at Reconciliation Canada are extremely grateful for their continuous support.

Chief Dr. Robert Joseph Receives the Order of British Columbia

We are excited to announce that on June 15, Reconciliation Canada Ambassador Chief Dr. Robert Joseph was among 16 of the British Columbia’s exceptional civic leaders to be recognized with the province’s highest honour, the Order of British Columbia. Chief Joseph was awarded the prestigious honour for his work in renewing relationships among Aboriginal peoples and all Canadians. 

The event was held at Government House in Victoria, the official residence of the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, the Honourable Judith Guichon. The award was presented by Premier Christy Clark. Since its inception in 1989, 386 British Columbians have been appointed to the Order of British Columbia. 

We are extremely proud of Chief Joseph and all of his work towards bridging differences between people and building a stronger Canada for all.  

To find out more about the Order of British Columbia, click here

Reconciliation Canada Receives Funding Support from the BC Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation

We are delighted to announce that Reconciliation Canada has received $300,000 in funding from the British Columbia Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation! The announcement was made by Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Minister John Rustad at an event in Prince George to rename Fort George Park in honour of the Lheidli T’enneh people. 

This funding will be used to develop a reconciliation leadership and facilitation program that will empower individuals across the province to lead community-based and community-driven reconciliation dialogue and action.

 “We are very pleased to partner with the Ministry for Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation, the Union of British Columbia Municipalities and the British Columbia Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres to support reconciliation dialogues throughout B.C.”, said Reconciliation Canada Ambassador Chief Dr. Robert Joseph. “This partnership will bring together British Columbians to join in meaningful dialogue and actions for a more inclusive, successful and sustainable province." 

Reconciliation Canada is proud to partner with Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation and we are extremely grateful for their support.

Solidarity in Action

Article by Inspirit Foundation

Thousands of people joined the five-kilometer Walk for Reconciliation during the TRC Closing events on May 31, 2015. (Photo credit: Inspirit Foundation)

One of the most compelling messages from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission closing events is “We are all in this together”.

This is why Inspirit Foundation is proud to support initiatives like the 4Rs Youth Movement, Jumblies Theatre’s Train of Thought, iHuman Youth’s Knowledge is Pow Wow as well as a partnership between Canadian Roots Exchange and KAIROS.

4Rs Youth Movement Executive Director Jessica Bolduc during Reconciliation Canada's panel, Inspiring Reconcili(action): Creating a New Way Forward (Photo credit: Inspirit Foundation)

The different projects around reconciliation give diverse Indigenous and non-Indigenous young people the opportunity to connect and build relationships with one another in creative ways. 

Such spaces for cross-cultural dialogue are necessary to foster future generations who will take on the challenge of reconciliation, according to 4Rs Youth Movement Executive Director Jessica Bolduc during Reconciliation Canada’s Inspiring Reconciliaction: Creating A New Way Forward panel. Fellow panelist, Reconciliation Canada Ambassador Chief Dr. Robert Joseph added that although we may be at different levels in our reconciliation journey, we all have a right to contribute to it. 

Inspirit Foundation is deeply inspired by the events and is committed to supporting young people to work together to build a more inclusive and pluralist Canada.

To hear about upcoming Inspirit Foundation reconciliation initiatives and opportunities to get involved, sign up to the Inspirit Foundation newsletter or connect with them on Facebook or Twitter


A special thank you to Inspirit Foundation for their generous Gold Level sponsorship of Inspiring Reconciliaction: Creating a New Way Forward.

Help us move forward with 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 
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