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Truth & Reconciliation at BCCF

Date: 6th November 2017

The Banff Canmore Community Foundation is committed to building stronger relationships with our Indigenous communities. Now that it’s 2017, we’re using this transformative moment in time to support Reconciliation and reshape the relationship between Indigenous peoples and all Canadians.

In Spring 2017, the foundation convened a community group of stakeholders and participants from the Truth & Reconciliation Summit at Banff Centre in Fall 2016 to discuss next steps. Since then, this group has met two more times, reporting on each organization’s progress with Reconciliation. This ranges from the Town of Canmore’s “Tools for the Future: Canmore’s Guide to Connect People and Community” document to the MD of Bighorn’s pond hockey program.

Over the fall, we were excited to watch as the Bow Valley Mural Project was unveiled. This project received funding support from the foundation as a Canada 150 grant. This community-driven project was designed to explore how art and shared creative action can change our communities, by igniting conversations surrounding themes of belonging, inclusion, connection and most importantly, reconciliation with our country’s first peoples. Each mural was conceived with guidance from local Indigenous Elders, and the boundless imagination and energy of Bow Valley youth, in the form of multiple artist-led youth workshops.

Recently, Elizabeth Sorochan and Rob Buffler represented the foundation at the Reconciliation and Right Relations program at Banff Centre in October. The Reconciliation and Right Relations program helped to develop a deeper understanding of our shared history, the meaning of Reconciliation, and the role all Canadians play in improving our relationship by:

  • Raising awareness of Canada’s shared history with Indigenous peoples
  • Understanding that truth by engaging in meaningful discussion about reconciliation
  • Inspiring through sharing already existing reconciliation wise practices
  • Inviting participants to take action to achieve reconciliation in their lives, communities, and organizations

Ongoing, and in follow up to the Truth and Reconciliation Summit held in October 2016 at Banff Centre, the foundation has partnered with Indigenous Leadership at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity to host a monthly speaker series on Truth & Reconciliation. Here, we’re inviting Bow Valley residents to engage in relevant topics, local discussions, and learn more about Indigenous culture, history, and knowledge. Each month a new guest speaker will share their perspective on Reconciliation. The next one is on Nov. 30 and is on Metis Perspectives in Reconciliation with lecturer Margaret Froh.

Our hope is that through these initiatives and more we can continue down our path of Truth & Reconciliation in the Bow Valley.

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