October 27, 2015

Reconciliation Canada Cultural and Wellness Advisor, Shelley Joseph, speaks at North Vancouver District Public Library's' An Evening in Honour of the Community Commitment to Truth, Healing, and Reconciliation' event on September 10

In the Community

UBC Volunteer Opportunities Fair

On October 22, Reconciliation Canada staff and volunteers headed up to the UBC Vancouver campus to attend the Volunteer Opportunities Fair. The event, organized by the Alma Mater Society's Volunteer Avenue organization, was a fantastic opportunity to meet with students and to share information about our volunteer opportunities. Thank you to everyone attended! Are you interested in volunteering with Reconciliation Canada? Click here to find out more.

Chief Dr. Robert Joseph speaks at Trinity Western University in Langely, BC

On October 22, Chief Dr. Robert Joseph delivered the keynote speech at the Inaugural Event of Institute of Indigenous Issues and Perspectives at Trinity Western University in Langley, BC. The event opened with traditional Sto:lo protocol, and was facilitated by University Siya:m, Patti Victor, and hosted by members of Institute of Indigenous Issues and Perspectives. Chief Joseph spoke of the importance of people from all backgrounds taking part in reconciliation and of the need to educate and engage the next generation.

Following the speech, attendees participated in a question and answer session and were invited to speak with Chief Joseph.

The event was attended by Trinity Western University students, faculty and staff, including University President, Bob Kuhn, and community members. 

We are incredibly grateful for the opportunity to participate in such a meaningful event. We commend Trinity Western University for their commitment to reconciliation and to strengthening relationships moving forward. 

Chief Joseph's speech will be released as a video in the coming weeks. Stay tuned to our website and social media channels for the latest information. 

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) Charity Fair in Vancouver 

 On October 16, Reconciliation Canada attended the Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) Charity Fair. The event was part of the annual Government of Canada Workplace Charitable Campaign (GCWCC). The campaign is charitable giving option developed for federal government public servants, and takes place in federal government workplaces across Canada. The event was a fantastic success, and we are extremely grateful for the opportunity to participate in this year's fair.

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

Honouring the Pledges at the North Vancouver District Public Library

Written by Meghan Crowe and Barbara Kelly 

Reconciliation is a process. 

And the North Vancouver District Public Library is committed to supporting that process through connecting community, fostering knowledge and inspiring stories.After the Truth and Reconciliation’s closing events in June, our NVDPL Librarians wondered how this work could be carried forward into our own community, echoing the theme of the closing events that “the ending is just the beginning.” The commitment to support reconciliation was put into action on September 10th at the Lynn Valley Library with An Evening in Honour of the Community Commitment to Truth, Healing, and Reconciliation.

The September 10 event was developed in partnership with Reconciliation Canada, and included support from the North Vancouver Museum and Archives. Over 60 guests from across the North Shore attended this culmination, so-to-speak, of the Read the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Executive Summary Pledge Project held at the Library throughout the summer. All three NVDPL locations (Parkgate, Capilano and Lynn Valley) had since the release of the report featured Pledge Boards, resource displays and copies of the TRC Executive Summary.

The evening began with Sanford Osler, a Trustee with the Library Board, welcoming guests and acknowledging that the event was taking place on the shared traditional territory of the Squamish and Tseil-Waututh First Nations. Special guest speaker Shelley Joseph, Cultural and Wellness Advisor at Reconciliation Canada, then addressed the attendees and spoke on having the courage to dialogue—an important and imperative step on the journey to Reconciliation. The evening also included the screening of key film clips, meaningful group discussions, and an open-mic portion, where local community members of all organizations and affiliations could take their turns to share their experiences and feelings. Attendees were privileged to hear heartfelt words from both Councillor Joseph of the Squamish Nation and Councillor George of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation, as well as hear personal stories from Barbara Kelly of the NVDPL, and Nancy Kirkpatrick of the North Vancouver Museum and Archives. It takes understanding of what has been before in order to move forward—so that the children of generations to come can grow up in a more inclusive Canadian community. The meaningful speeches and discussions shared on September 10 formed a bridge to some understanding between all guests. The event was, as Nancy Kirkpatrick, Director of the North Vancouver Museum and Archives put it, “but one step in an ongoing journey.”

With that, we’ll finish as we started: Reconciliation is a process. And there is opportunity for the NVDPL, as well as all libraries, to play a vital role on this important road to a reconciled Canada.

You can still make the pledge to read the TRC Executive Summary at any NVDPL Branch, or on our website at


Are you interested in contributing to the Reconciliation Canada blog? We welcome blog posts on a variety of topics, and are particularly interested to hear about reconciliation projects in your local community, school or organisation. We’d also love to hear from individuals who are combining personal transformation with action.

Please send us an email at and tell us what you’d like to talk about in your post. Please include “Reconciliation Canada Blog Submission” as your subject line. We welcome written articles, videos, photographs and artwork. 

We look forward to learning from you all.

Election 2015 comes to a close, but reconciliation must remain a high priority

Election Day has come and gone, and the votes are in: The Liberal Party of Canada will form a majority government.

Following Monday’s election, there will be 10 Indigenous Members of Parliament in the House of Commons. This is the highest number of Indigenous MPs elected in Canadian history. Early reports suggest that voter turnout during this election was at its highest since 1993 Although official statistics have not yet been announced, early reports suggest that Indigenous voter turnout increased significantly compared to 2011. 

We extend our gratitude to everyone who visited our Election 2015 Resource page, everyone who shared our resources and responses we sent to parties, and everyone who reached out to friends, family and community members to engage on reconciliation topics throughout Election 2015. 

We would like to offer our congratulations to the Liberal Party, and to all MPs who have been elected. We thank the Bloc Québécois, the Liberal Party, the Green Party and the New Democratic Party for responding to our election questions and sharing their plans for reconciliation. 

Although the 42nd Canadian general election has now wrapped up, we urge you to contact your newly elected representative and learn about their plans for reconciliation. Canadians are engaged, and they are looking for answers and action on reconciliation. Reconciliation moving forward requires all people to participate in the conversation, and it is crucial that elected officials take steps to further reconciliation in your community. 

Now is the time to take action.

With privilege comes the responsibility of reconciliation

First year law student Bobby Sangha reflects on the meaning of reconciliation for his fellow law students and others in the legal profession. Bobby was inspired to write about these challenges and possibilities after hearing Reconciliation Canada’s Chief Robert Joseph speak at his university. 

He writes: “At the heart of [Chief Robert] Joseph’s lecture was not only a desire to speak of the problems of the past or contemporary issues, but a desire to inspire change for the future. He challenged every incoming law student with the task of finding his or her own way to build a better community, no matter how big or small.” 

Read the rest of Bobby’s article here at Canadian Lawyer Magazine.

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