Five Things We Learned About Reconciliation from the Heritage Community

On June 28th, members, friends, and staff of the Edmonton Heritage Council came together to discuss Reconciliation in the Heritage Community, as a response to the the Calls to Action in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Final Report. As participants entered the room, they were given a definition of reconciliation to ponder and share with others.

Sitting in circle, we were led through a process of exploring what reconciliation meant to us. Kim Ghostkeeper, a Community Development Officer from Alberta Culture and Tourism, led participants through this process by asking four questions around the concept of reconciliation, a Talking Circle format in which everybody was invited to share.  By all accounts it was a great opportunity to listen and learn about how each of us is working towards reconciliation.

Here are five things we learned at the Reconciliation in the Heritage Community event along with some feedback and reflections we received from participants:

We are all at different points in the process of engaging with reconciliation.

One of the biggest barriers to reconciliation is lack of knowledge and understanding.

Keeping an open mind and listening to each other are central to reconciliation.

 Reconciliation is a value, rather than a checklist. We need to be open to these tough conversations, and find ways to give space for Indigenous voices and view points.

People are committed to continue these conversations and develop concrete solutions.

This last point is of particular interest for us at the Edmonton Heritage Council. We, in consultation with staff and our board, have identified eight specific Calls to Action from the TRC final report that we have committed to incorporate into EHC’s programs and culture. Here is a link to our plan. We will be hosting additional events related to the TRC in the near future as a continuation of this work and in order to fulfill our commitment.

This was our first member’s event in a new series of gatherings we hope will further engage our membership on a range of topics. We welcome your feedback below on what types of events you would like to attend and the topics you would like to explore together.