The Truth and Reconciliation Committee, in partnership with Southwest Multicultural Association, will be hosting its fourth annual recognition event with a “Truth and Reconciliation: Speaker Series” in March 2021. Three events will offer separate presentations that will focus on the meaning and definition of reconciliation, the next steps that will help to create a better relationship between all people, with the objective to continue a well-informed journey towards reconciliation.
The Committee is pleased to offer perspectives from the national, provincial and local levels from three well-known advocates on reconciliation. The events will be held on March 3, 10 and 17.
The first session on March 3 will include a presentation from the Honourable Murray Sinclair. Senator Sinclair was the first Aboriginal Judge appointed in Manitoba and the second in Canada. He served as Co-Chair of the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry in Manitoba and as Chief Commissioner of the federal Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).
On March 10, Zoey Roy will join the event to provide her self-analysis on reconciliation. Zoey is a poet, community-based educator, artist and author based in Saskatoon. Her Cree-Denis-Metis roots and career as an artist give her a unique insight into working with Indigenous and Canadian youth in pursuit of reconciliation. She is passionate about enabling people to reach their potential by eliminating barriers.
The third event within the Speaker Series will see Mary Culbertson and Zoey Roy presenting. In 2018, Mary became the first female Treaty Commissioner of Saskatchewan. She is a member of the Keeseekoose First Nation and has over 20 years of professional experience working in federal, provincial and territorial governments and with Indigenous organizations.
Each day will include a closed morning presentation for the Chinook School Division, where students will take an active role in facilitating the event while several students will present their own reconciliation journeys. A live presentation (open to the public) at the Chinook Regional Library in Swift Current will be hosted at 1:45 PM on each of the three days, with a recorded viewing available after the live sessions. Virtual access to the live broadcast afternoon sessions and recorded viewings will be available via a YouTube link found by visiting the Truth and Reconciliation Swift Current’s new website at www.trc-swsk.ca. Additional information can be found at greatplainscollege.ca/news-and-events.
“A Canada-wide survey completed in 2016 indicated that 30 percent of the prairie provinces’ population were not aware that residential schools even existed,” said Bula Ghosh of the Truth and Reconciliation Committee. “Learning this, our committee decided that we would work on creating awareness in the southwest. The truth must be acknowledged before reconciliation can happen. Our upcoming Speaker Series will help us all to acknowledge, understand and move ahead in the spirit of reconciliation.”
“In 2017, the first Truth and Reconciliation event, ‘Residential Schools’, was well received and this led to the formation of the Truth and Reconciliation Committee,” added Ghosh. “Since then there have been two additional annual events held with the ‘Sixties Scoop’ in 2018 and the ‘Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls’ in 2019. No event was held in 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.”
The Truth and Reconciliation Committee would like to thank its members and sponsors for making this event possible, including Southwest Multicultural Association, SaskCulture, Chinook School Division, Great Plains College, Innovation Credit Union, Southwest Newcomer Welcome Centre, Chinook Regional Library, City of Swift Current, Saskatchewan Health Authority and Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan.
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