Vancity is the founding partner of Reconciliation Canada, an initiative working to build and revitalize relationships among Aboriginal peoples and all Canadians.
Reconciliation Canada is a catalyst for change in Canada that is Aboriginal-led, but multi-cultural and multi-faith in scope. It aims to:
- educate Canadians about the impacts of Indian residential schools
- promote reconciliation through dialogue and storytelling
- develop strategies for moving forward in a positive way.
Reconciliation Canada’s work is closely aligned with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, which held a national event in Vancouver from September 19-21, 2013 to engage the Canadian public and provide education about the history and impact of the Indian Residential School system, the experience of former students and their families and the ongoing legacies of these institutions within communities.
Leading up to this national event, Reconciliation Canada worked to engage Canadians in the reconciliation process through public education, community engagement and a series of events.
Why is reconciliation important?
The reconciliation process is important for all Canadians because it's about the basics of how we treat each other as fellow human beings and the kind of relationships and communities we want to build for the future. As Reconciliation Canada Ambassador Chief Dr. Robert Joseph says, "Our future, and the well-being of all our children, rests with the kind of relationships we build today."
For many Canadians we don't really know much about the ongoing impact of Indian Residential Schools—how it continues to be felt throughout generations and contribute to social problems. Residential schools for Aboriginal people in Canada date back to the 1870s and the last school only closed in 1996. More than 150,000 First Nations, Métis, and Inuit children were placed in these schools. Connections with culture and family, parenting skills, and intergenerational relationships were damaged or lost. People were broken.
It's time to acknowledge and understand the past, and find a new way forward.
How is Vancity involved?
Vancity is the founding partner of Reconciliation Canada. In November 2012 we gave a $500,000 grant to Reconciliation Canada (read the news release and watch highlights from the announcement) and continue to provide ongoing support.
“A core element of our vision is to promote social justice and build resilient, sustainable communities," says Linda Morris, senior vice president of Business Development, Member and Community Engagement at Vancity. "We believe the process being led by Reconciliation Canada will help create a better, stronger Canada for all.”