WVML Keeps Honouring Reconciliation

National Indigenous Peoples Day.

West Vancouver Memorial Library Keeps Honouring Reconciliation
2018 programming to expand awareness of the strength and resilience of Indigenous peoples and communities  

West Vancouver, BC  –  West Vancouver Memorial Library announces the start of its 2018 Honouring Reconciliation: Hearing the Truth program, a multi-year series of activities designed to honour the experiences of Indigenous peoples in Canada, facilitate shared community learning and promote understanding of our shared history. The free community events will build on the popular 2017 inaugural program by delving deeper into the history of Indigenous peoples in Canada, exploring the ongoing and resurging traditions of the Squamish Nation and celebrating the strength and survival of Indigenous peoples in the face of intolerance, a lack of understanding and racism.

“We are grateful for the generosity of spirit of local First Nations peoples, and for the collective learning experience that we have had with the community over the last year,” says Head of Customer and Community Experience, Pat Cumming. “People have come together with a willingness to learn and to explore ways to form new relationships and support the rebuilding of Indigenous cultures.”

A Reading Challenge Launch Event will take place on Thursday, July 5 from 2 – 3 p.m. in the Main Hall of the West Vancouver Memorial Library. The launch will feature a traditional welcome by Chepximiya Siyam’ / Chief Janice George of the Squamish Nation, followed by remarks by Charlene Seward of Reconciliation Canada. Librarian Ehlam Zaminpaima will provide an overview of the Library’s 2018 Honouring Reconciliation: Hearing the Truth program. Light refreshments will be served.

This year’s programming will include: 

  • A Reading Challenge that explores titles from a book list curated by Chief Robert Joseph of Reconciliation Canada. Reading Challenge Launch Event: Thursday, July 5, 2 – 3 p.m., Library Main Hall.
  • Reading Circles where participants will have the opportunity to discuss the issues and themes in two of the titles in Chief Joseph’s book list.
  • Learning Circles led by members of the Squamish Nation that will provide opportunities for the community to learn about, experience and celebrate local Indigenous culture and traditions.
  • A participatory Blanket Exercise, developed by KAIROS Canada, to learn about Canadian history from an Indigenous perspective. 
  • A Community Screening of Indian Horse. An adaptation of Richard Wagamese’s award-winning novel, this moving film sheds light on the dark history of Canada’s Residential Schools and the indomitable spirit of Indigenous peoples. Thursday, September 27, 6:30 – 9 p.m., Kay / Meek Theatre.

The Library appreciates the participation of the Squamish Nation and in particular recognizes the support of Chepximiya Siyam’ / Chief Janice George.

The Library’s Art Gallery currently features the exhibition “Connections Through Traditions” showcasing two artists from the Squamish Nation, Spelexilh Anjeanette Dawson and Kwakwee Baker. Both artists honour their teachers and ancestors and continue the cycle of passing their skills down to the next generation. The exhibition, presented in partnership with the Ferry Building Gallery, is on display through August 21.

The Library recognizes that Honouring Reconciliation programs and activities are just a beginning; sustaining meaningful reconciliation is an ongoing practice that will shape our community for generations to come. Additional details available at wvml.ca/reconciliation.


Truth and Reconciliation

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."


For more information, please contact:|
Celina O’Connor, Communications Coordinator


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