The fall of 2017 marked the beginning of the Library's Honouring Reconciliation initiative to honour the experiences of Indigenous peoples in Canada, facilitate learning and promote understanding of our shared history.
This included facilitating seven reading circles based on Bev Sellars' book They Called Me Number One. At the end of each circle, participants were asked to describe their feelings in one or two words. This word cloud is the result.
An overview of the events and impacts of this initiative is contained in our Alliance 150 Report.
The Library's Honouring Reconciliation programming will resume in 2018.
In 2009, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) began a multi-year process to listen to survivors, communities and others affected by the Residential School system. In 2015, the TRC released a report—Honouring the Truth, Reconciling for the Future—that included 94 Calls to Action to "redress the legacy of residential schools and advance the process of Canadian reconciliation.” The report outlines that “governments, churches, educational institutions, and Canadians from all walks of life are responsible for taking action on reconciliation in concrete ways, working collaboratively with Aboriginal peoples. Reconciliation begins with each and every one of us."
As a public institution that supports learning for adults and youth in our community, our Library has an important role to play in reconciliation. Honouring Reconciliation: Hearing the Truth is intended to expand understanding of local Indigenous history, impacts of colonialism and its ongoing effects on Indigenous peoples.
The Library will continue to offer programs and activities in subsequent years to promote knowledge, understanding and dialogue, recognizing that reconciliation is an ongoing practice that will shape our community for the next 150 years and beyond.
We acknowledge the Squamish Nation, the Tsleil-Waututh Nation and the Musqueam People, who since time immemorial have lived on the land now referred to as the Greater Vancouver and Sea to Sky regions.
The following events and activities were held in 2017
Stories, Lessons and Conversations from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
An educational display exploring the history and impact of residential schools, through images and documents from the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation at the University of Manitoba.
"The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation opened in 2015, marking the end of the tenure of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Canada (TRC). Commission hearings were held across Canada between 2008 and 2015 to hear truths about the history and impacts of residential schools in Canada and to consider how Canada can approach reconciliation.
Education, Outreach and Archives are key pillars to the work of the National Centre. Survivors of residential schools and their truths that stand at the core of Canadian history, shape the work and the collections at the National Centre. Envisioned as a growing, Indigenous-based archive, the statements, material collections and documents collected during the Commission form the base of an important set of records, for all Canadians. Located in Winnipeg at the University of Manitoba, the National Centre also develops innovative and creative educational programming and outreach activities. All of this work is an ongoing process, not a final destination and it encompasses a broad range of definitions and different versions of this term; reconciliation. These panels explore some of the stories, lessons and conversations that we are having on truth and reconciliation and hopefully provide context for work that is still to come." - National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation
Reading Circles based on Bev Sellars' acclaimed memoir — They Called Me Number One.
In these Reading Circles, we explored Bev Sellars' frank and poignant memoir, in which she shares her personal account of her residential school experience and eloquently articulates her own path to healing. Library staff facilitated each discussion to expand our understanding of local Indigenous history, impacts of colonialism and its ongoing effects on Indigenous peoples. Books and background reading materials were provided.
The National Film Board's Aabiziingwashi (Wide Awake): NFB Indigenous Cinema on Tour
A film series inspired conversations on identity, family, community and nationhood.
The Road Forward
A musical documentary, connects a pivotal moment in Canada’s civil rights history—the beginnings of Indian Nationalism in the 1930s—with the powerful momentum of First Nations activism today." - NFB Filmmaker Marie Clements will introduce the film and answer questions.
"In her award-winning documentary, director Alethea Arnaquq-Baril joins a new tech-savvy generation of Inuit as they campaign to challenge long-established perceptions of seal hunting." - NFB
Trick or Treaty
“This feature documentary by acclaimed filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin… profiles Indigenous leaders in their quest for justice as they seek to establish dialogue with the Canadian government. By tracing the history of their ancestors since the signing of Treaty No. 9, these leaders aim to raise awareness about issues vital to First Nations in Canada.” - NFB
Birth of a Family
"Three sisters and a brother, adopted as infants into separate families across North America, meet together for the first time in this deeply moving documentary by director Tasha Hubbard." - NFB
Perspectives on our shared history
A moderated panel discussion engaged community members in dialogue and explored the meaning of reconciliation on a national, community and individual level.
Bentwood Box Image: Carved by Coast Salish artist Luke Marston, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Bentwood Box is a lasting tribute to all Indian Residential School Survivors. The carved panels represent the unique cultures of former First Nations, Inuit and Métis students. Used with permission.
Learn more about the Truth and Reconciliation Commisison Bentwood Box.
This initiative was made possible by the Community Fund for Canada's 150th, a collaboration between West Vancouver Community Foundation, the Government of Canada, and extraordinary leaders from coast to coast to coast.
Cette initiative a été rendue possible grâce au Fonds communautaire pour le 150e anniversaire du Canada, qui est une collaboration entre West Vancouver Foundation, le gouvernement du Canada et des leaders extraordinaires de l'Atlantique au Pacifique à l'Arctique.