CoV News Release: Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada and Reconciliation Canada announce TRC B.C. National Event and events of Reconciliation Week
----- Original Message -----
From: "City of Vancouver Communications Office"
Sent: Thursday, July 25, 2013 10:55 AM
Subject: CoV News Release: Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada and
Reconciliation Canada announce TRC B.C. National Event and events of
City of Vancouver
July 25, 2013
TRC and Reconciliation Canada announce events of Reconciliation Week
September 16-22 in Vancouver
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) and Reconciliation
Canada announced today a week of reconciliation activities to take place in
Vancouver from September 16 to 22. The announcement was made at a news
conference hosted by Mayor Gregor Robertson at Vancouver City Hall.
Reconciliation Week will feature:
* The lighting of the Flame of Reconciliation, September 16: A
sacred fire will be lit at Ambleside to symbolize the start of
* The All Nations Canoe Gathering, September 17: Watch as
people-powered crafts and beautiful cedar dugout canoes paddle into False
Creek from Kits Point to Science World, and are welcomed in a traditional
ceremony to the Coast Salish lands.
* The TRC's British Columbia National Event, September 18-21: Bear
witness to the experiences of Survivors of the Indian Residential Schools,
and the schools' continuing legacy. The TRC's sixth National Event takes
place at the Pacific National Exhibition. No registration is required. All
activities are free.
* The Walk for Reconciliation, September 22: Bringing Canada's many
cultures to walk a path together in a shared commitment to reconciliation.
* A New Way Forward Celebration, September 22: Reconciliation Week
culminates with a celebration marking a new beginning and a show of
commitment to continuing on the journey of reconciliation. Featuring
multicultural performers and various festivities.
In announcing the BC National Event, TRC Chair Justice Murray Sinclair said
reconciliation between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canadians depends on a
understanding of the history and legacy of Indian Residential Schools.
"For about 120 years, Aboriginal children in British Columbia were sent to
residential schools funded by the federal government and run by the churches
in order to be stripped of their languages, cultural identity, spirituality
and traditions," he said. "This policy has been devastating to Aboriginal
families and communities, and to relations between Aboriginal and
non-Aboriginal peoples. It's time for a new relationship rooted in mutual
Reconciliation Canada Ambassador Chief Dr. Robert Joseph said: "This is an
historic opportunity for Canada to respond to a call for action and commit
to reconciliation. To renew relationships for a shared tomorrow, based on a
shared understanding of our histories and our cultures and walk a path
together for a shared tomorrow. Reconciliation Canada initiatives are
weaving a stronger and more vibrant social fabric, based on the unique and
diverse strengths of Canadians and their communities."
Mayor Gregor Robertson said: "Reconciliation Week will be a historic
opportunity to heal from the past and build a shared future based on
empathy, understanding and respect. We are proud to be the first city in
Canada to proclaim this the Year of Reconciliation and honoured to be
hosting the BC National Event. As Mayor, I
encourage people of all ages and backgrounds to take part in Reconciliation
Week so that we can build a brighter future together."
An important aspect of the BC National Event will be the opportunity for
Survivors of the schools, their children, and others whose lives have been
affected by the residential schools to talk about their experiences either
publicly or in a private session. Public statements will be webcast live at
The BC National Event will also feature traditional ceremonies, Survivor
gatherings, an Education Day for students, cultural performances, films,
gestures of reconciliation, and the induction of TRC Honourary Witnesses
including Nick Noorani, a respected authority on diversity and improving
immigrant outcomes. Mr. Noorani was introduced at today's news conference.
More information on the role of TRC Honourary Witnesses is available on the
In preparation for this event, the TRC has held public hearings in
communities throughout British Columbia - in Port Hardy, Campbell River,
Port Alberni, Duncan
(Cowichan), and Victoria in 2012; and Prince George, Williams Lake, Kamloops
and Terrace earlier this year.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission is an independent commission
established as a result of the 2007 Indian Residential Schools Settlement
Agreement. Its mandate is to inform all Canadians about what happened in the
150-year history of the residential schools in Canada, and to guide and
inspire a process of reconciliation and renewed relationships based on
mutual understanding and respect.
Founded in 2012, Reconciliation Canada is building new relationships between
Aboriginal peoples and all Canadians, relationships built on a foundation of
dignity, understanding and hope. Reconciliation Canada is engaging people
from every part of Canadian society in an open and honest conversation about
our diverse histories and experiences in order to build resilient,
TRC Media Relations