Hundreds gather in Winnipeg for national reconciliation conference
Keynote speakers include Cindy Blackstock, Chief Dr. Robert Joseph
Just over a year after the Truth and Reconciliation summary report was released, hundreds of people are gathering in Winnipeg for a conference to explore a pathway to reconciliation.
The national conference called Pathways to Reconciliation is taking place at the University of Winnipeg Wednesday to Saturday.
- Winnipeggers reflect on what's changed 1 year after Truth and Reconciliation report
- National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation opens in Winnipeg
"The conference is a really important opportunity to gather to discuss the important work of reconciliation ahead, our understandings of reconciliation, how we implement all of the work that we need to do and how we understand whether or not we are hitting our marks or not in terms of achieving the goals that have been set out for us," said Ry Moran, the director of National Research Centre for Truth and Reconciliation at the University of Manitoba and co-chair of the conference.
The conference will include more than 30 workshops, panels, and keynote speakers including Cindy Blackstock, executive director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada, and Chief Dr. Robert Joseph, ambassador for Reconciliation Canada.
- Canada discriminates against children on reserves, tribunal rules
- Chief Robert Joseph, residential school survivor, to receive social justice award
Moran said it's meaningful that the conference is in Winnipeg because it's where the TRC headquarters are located and where the first national event was launched six years ago this month.
"We have been at the heart of conversations as Winnipeggers for a very long time," he said.
The conference reached capacity with around 350 participants.
There are free events for the public including a workshop with renowned Cheyenne artist and professor Edgar Heap of Birds on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. at Riddell Hall. Through the workshop participants will collectively make a large-scale drawing exploring First Nations history, personal stories, and reconciliation.
- Truth and Reconciliation report brings calls for action, not words
- Winnipeg declares Year of Reconciliation — 1 year after being called most racist
For the general public there will also be a film screening, sharing circles, and information sessions on truth and reconciliation.
Moran said it was important to involve many people because reconciliation will include everyone.
"Everybody's voice counts in reconciliation, everybody's voice matters, and having as many conversations as possible and keeping the fire burning as brightly as we possibly can on this issue of reconciliation is critically important as we walk down this path," he said.
For more information visit the conference website.