NWT Wellness Society will hold reconciliation conference in 2018
Society will focus on big event in November to discuss the TRC's 94 calls of action
The NWT Wellness Society will organize a territorial conference on reconciliation next November in Yellowknife.
Lila Erasmus, the Aboriginal component coordinator for the society, says instead of organizing smaller events throughout the year, they will now focus on one major event.
"We're hoping that the communities will be able to engage on what reconciliation means, and putting together an action plan," she said.
She says the conference will be a moment to talk about how to implement the 94 calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's report looking into Canada's residential school system.
"There's responsibility that belongs to all of us, we do have a responsibility to reconcile, not only within the Indigenous community but within the non-Indigenous community," she said.
Erasmus hopes members from all 33 N.W.T. communities will participate.
"Many times we have policies made for communities but without their input, so we just want to ask the communities what they need, how do we move forward together and how do we heal as a community from the trauma of the residential schools?"
Local leaders will participate
The society will welcome guest speakers and local panellists. The keynote speakers will explain how they have made significant change within the Indigenous community.
Erasmus says they will also look at what local leaders in the community are doing to encourage reconciliation.
The NWT Wellness Society will hold its annual general meeting in February, at which point Erasmus says they'll call on people to be part of the planning committee for the conference.
She believes awareness should reach everyone.
"We all have a part in dealing with things like racism, systemic discrimination, homelessness, child welfare, education, justice," she said.
"We need to start healing in a way that works for the Indigenous community, not just for the non-Indigenous community. We need to all work together to find solutions."