Last week, The Federation’s Reconciliation Action Group met to reflect on the October Conference and to discuss how our organization can continue living into reconciliation.
Some of the group members shared that they will be taking the Kairos Blanket Exercise Training this week. Another member’s agency recently participated in the Witness Blanket Tour which is on exhibit in the lower mainland until April. The group also talked about the possibility of hosting another Federation conference on reconciliation to continue this important dialogue.
But a big part of the group’s conversation focused on the need to build stronger and more meaningful relationships with the First Nations on whose land we host our general meetings and conferences. One member explained how they research the history of the areas they travel to so that they arrive as informed visitors when they go to different places. The Federation board did the same thing earlier this week when we gathered in Richmond for our strategic planning meeting (I’ll share more about that meeting over the coming weeks).
All journeys start with a few small steps. Our October Reconciliation Conference started a dialogue, forged some new relationships, and plotted some new paths forward. Over the coming months, The Federation will continue building upon the momentum of these first steps. We may not report out on everything we do—some topics are sensitive and some things will take a long time—but we are committed to moving forward.
I will close by sharing that reconciliation was the focus of much discussion at the board’s strategic planning meeting this week. Living into reconciliation is a commitment this federation takes very seriously. My hope is that sharing some of the steps we are taking will inspire you to do so as well.
If you want to get involved or share ways that your organization is living into reconciliation please let me know. Only together can we make things better.
A number of members have inquired about recordings of the presentations from the October Conference. Many of the speakers, such as Chief Dr. Robert Joseph and Monique Gray Smith, have a number of speeches and recordings available online.
If you are looking for ways to bring what you heard at the conference back to your agencies, I encourage you to check them out. A few links are included below.
Chief Robert Joseph video series by Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Dialogue.
Chief Robert Joseph, “My Vision for Canada” from the Pathways to Reconciliation Conference (includes presentations by Wab Kinew and Cindy Blackstock).
Monique Gray Smith, “Resilience and the Power of One” at TEDx Langley.