Thank you to everyone who helped make the symposium Reconciliation and Resurgence: Heritage Practice in Post-TRC Edmonton a success.
On March 3 and 4, 2020, 150 people came together at La Cité Francophone to discuss Reconciliation and Resurgence in post Truth and Reconciliation Commission Edmonton. Members of the Indigenous community, Edmonton’s heritage sector, academics, not-for-profit workers, students, public sector workers, and members of the public, came together to learn how each of us can contribute to reconciliation work in the heritage community. Those in attendance were encouraged to consider and examine the ways in which Indigenous peoples and heritage have been and continue to be excluded or marginalized within heritage institutions and narratives. We asked attendees to think critically about their own roles in this pattern of erasure, and to consider a way forward where Indigenous voices are lifted up, where Indigenous heritage is told by Indigenous people, and how historical erasure and marginalization has contributed to the current realities of systemic racism.
The Edmonton Heritage Council was advised by Elders and community members from First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities throughout the planning process. Each day of the symposium began in ceremony with smudging and a prayer.
It was essential to the EHC that we document some of the key takeaways and sentiments felt at the symposium. The following short video does just that. Our thanks to Production World for their support in filming and producing the video.
We were committed to exploring new ways of working throughout the planning and delivery of the symposium. This included new ways of documenting the knowledge shared throughout the symposium. Graphic notation is an approach to collecting the contributions of both speakers and participants in a way that illustrates key themes and breakthroughs in understanding.
We were fortunate to have Joleyne Mayers-Jaekel of ViClarity Inc attend and document what happened at the symposium. The piece she created is a visual representation of learnings from the symposium. This moving graphic shows the enormity of the work to come.
Click here to view photos from the symposium.
The Edmonton Heritage Council has a mandate to serve as a leader in advancing Connections & Exchanges, Edmonton’s 10-year arts and heritage plan.
This plan makes a commitment to the Indigenous peoples of this place. The Edmonton Heritage Council is committed to the following principle:
“Indigenous peoples have agency in their journeys of revitalizing and participating in traditional, contemporary and future manifestations of their culture.”
Through the process of learning and unlearning in development of the symposium, the Edmonton Heritage Council has deepened our commitment to the work of reconciliation in Edmonton’s heritage sector. This work must continue in order to achieve a resilient heritage community, with all of us committing to acts of reconciliation. We are currently working through our formal next steps, but we can assure you they will include the following:
- Workshops and learning opportunities for all members of the heritage sector
- An Indigenous Advisory Committee that will guide our work and activities
- Hiring an Indigenous Initiatives program lead
- And any additional support for Indigenous organizations, heritage practitioners, and community members who hope to access EHC grants and programs.
We welcome your support in these endeavours. If you would like to contribute to the EHC’s reconciliation efforts or would like more information about our work, please email Danielle Dolgoy, Programs & Partnerships Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Special thanks to the partners and sponsors whose support made this symposium possible: