The Federation’s June Conference, Reconciliation in Action, takes place next week in Penticton. We started this work at our conference last October where we framed reconciliation as a continuous way of being. This event is our next step down that path. Our intention is to create a space grounded in understanding as we consider different paths toward reconciliation.
What to expect
We will once again be hosting the KAIROS Blanket Exercise—an experiential way to think about the ongoing impacts of colonization and to consider each person’s responsibility in moving forward in reconciliation.
Afterward, a series of Stories from the Community sessions will invite leaders, activists, and community members to share stories about work that is inspiring, mobilizing, or supporting their local communities. Participants will listen to examples of work from other communities and be empowered to “harvest” knowledge from the different stories—things that relate to their own reconciliation journey as well as ideas to take back to their organizations.
In addition to these learning opportunities, you can also look forward to learning more about local Indigenous communities and cultural teachings throughout the day.
Reconciliation as a way of being
As you can tell, this is not a traditional conference. This is not a training day. This is a day to build relationships, to build knowledge, and to build understanding. This event not about cultural competency—we’re beyond that.
This event is the next step in a journey that will continue throughout the rest of our lives. This is about stepping into a way of being that holds care, respect, and social justice at its heart. We may not see a fully just society in our lifetime. But if we don’t do this work now, we guarantee that our children and grandchildren won’t either.
I have said this before: this is not an easy path to walk. There are no straightforward to-do lists and simple boxes to check until we are “done” and can move on to something else. This commitment we have made requires us to keep learning and continually question our beliefs, our ways of thinking, and ways of working together.
My hopes for next week
My hope is that participants are challenged. I hope that we ask ourselves some hard questions and that we all leave with lots to think about. I hope this event inspires our curiosity and disrupts our understanding of what the future may look like.
And I hope to see many, many of you there joining us in this work. I am looking forward to taking this next step with you. And I hope you will also be able to participate in your local National Aboriginal Day events.