Saskatoon reconcile 2

Reconciliation event at the Central Urban Metis Foundation Inc. Photo courtesy Saskatoon Tribal Council.

The City of Saskatoon is responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s (TRC) Calls to Action by helping others learn how they can get involved.

For the next month, residents of Saskatoon have an opportunity to take part in events geared toward learning what it means to reconcile, and how they can find their own person call to action.

“Reconciliation is the restoration of a friendship after an estrangement. It does not require agreement on every aspect of how to live together. It is not an apology that has been accepted once offered. Rather, it is about the process of coming together—a conscious choice that the future will be better if we work through difficulties and differences with an openness to hearing about, and responding to, the harm that has occurred, said former Treaty Commissioner George Lafond.

The City of Saskatoon, Office of the Treaty Commissioner, Saskatoon Tribal Council, Central Urban Metis Federation Inc., along with 29 supporting organizations, are holding a series of events to promote Reconciliation in Saskatoon.

The activities will give Saskatoon residents an opportunity to listen to the stories of survivors and their families, and to learn about our history, about residential schools, in a safe environment that is open and accessible to all. Residents are invited to show their support by attending events for Reconciliation, and to share personal responses to the calls to action with friends and family on social media using the hashtag #ReconciliationSK.

The schedule culminates in a two-day celebration. On June 21, National Aboriginal Day is open to all who want to celebrate our Indigenous community, enjoy food, entertainment and education in Victoria Park. On June 22, a Day of Reconciliation begins with the “Rock Your Roots” Walk inviting everyone to celebrate and display their unique cultural heritage. BBQ and entertainment follow in Victoria Park.

“The next month of events is an excellent example of how Saskatoon can work together to keep Reconciliation moving forward to future generations.  The organizations involved in these events are setting the foundation to the work we can all do together to improve our relationships and be all inclusive,” said Felix Thomas, Chief, Saskatoon Tribal Council.

“Reconciliation is a process of opening up our hearts to be inclusive of all cultures and religious beliefs. A process of understanding that we may be unique but can still live and work together in harmony. Our call to action paves the path for future generations,” said Shirley Isbister, President of the Central Urban Metis Federation Inc.

Saskatoon began their efforts with a proclamation by City Council on June 22, 2015 declaring 2015/2016 the Year of Reconciliation.

“This Year of Reconciliation is part of a long journey. I am proud of our decades of economic success with Urban Commercial Reserves under the Treaty Land Entitlements. Now we need to take that formula for success and apply it to our social and cultural relationships to ensure that every citizen has a better understanding of Reconciliation and its importance in our community,” said Saskatoon Mayor Donald Atchison.

For more information on events, please visit OTC.ca.

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