Reconciliation Canada

Vancity is the founding partner of Reconciliation Canada, an initiative working to build and revitalize relationships among Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians.

Reconciliation Canada is a catalyst for change in Canada that is Indigenous-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, whose final report was issued in the fall of 2015. The report contains 94 Calls to Action as the Commission’s recommendations for Canadians to better understand and respond to 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.

Reconciliation Canada is engaging with 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 Indigenous 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 has adopted the Call to Action for business contained in the Commission Report as well as the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as a framework for meaningful reconciliation. Our Board has added Reconciliation as a core value for the organization and we continue to support Reconciliation Canada as a founding partner, as well as other initiatives that create opportunities for dialogue and better understanding among Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. We are proud to continue the journey we started in November 2012 when we gave a $500,000 grant to Reconciliation Canada (read the news release and watch highlights from the announcement)

“A core element of our vision is to promote social justice and build resilient, sustainable communities," says Linda Morris, former 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.”

How can you participate?

There are many opportunities and initiatives where you can learn more, get involved, and provide your support. It’s an important first step in our personal reconciliation journey and the creation of a better Canada for all of us. At Vancity, we are investing in community initiatives and projects that create opportunities for awareness, learning, and dialogue. The links on the side of this page provide additional information on organizations and events in the community.

Join us on the Walk for Reconciliation on Sunday, September 24, 2017, register at