Truth and Reconciliation
Many steps with one goal
Our Truth & Reconciliation Research Action Team encompasses both Indigenous Elders and Community Members and Non-Indigenous Leaders that continually examine steps we can take as a society to address the consequences of our ongoing legacy of colonization.
Our team is working on two actions:
- On May 25, 2020, Delegates at our Assembly voted to support a call for an Aboriginal Liaison Officer in every district of the Calgary Police Services.
- On April 7, 2021, Delegates at our Assembly voted to support taking on the issue of having the CBE change the name of Langevin School.
Why an Aboriginal Liaison Officer:
Over policing and under protection are considered key issues underlying missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. Vital to addressing this, is assisting the police to develop better cultural competencies, understanding of the impacts of colonization and better relationships with indigenous communities. The factor that can shift this is to ensure that each district office has an indigenous liaison officer. Currently, there is only one Indigenous Liaison officer in a city of 1.2M which is inadequate.
Tipi Harvest for Calgary Healing Tipis
OUR GOAL: Is to build four tipis, which will require raising approximately $10,400.00 to purchase four 21ft tipi canvas’ and harvest approximately 120 tipi poles.
The Tipi is the traditional home of many First Nations. The structure of the tipi itself is sacred and powerful in many ways. Different Nations hold various teachings on the importance and meaning of tipis, though the concept of 'respect for our homes' is universal.
Why Rename Langevin School:
Langevin was one of the architects of the residential school system. To have a school named after him honours him and the work he did as an example to our children. To continue to honour someone who designed a system for genocide is a daily painful reminder for Indigenous people. Changing the school’s name, much like what the City did with the Langevin Bridge in 2017, would be an important step towards reconciliation.
A history of colonization:
It is time that we face the truth of our colonial past and how it has impacted all of us. We must not just face our past, we also need to build new, life-giving relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people so that together we can shape a relationship in which all can thrive.
The history of colonization is a wound that strikes at the very heart of this land. This leaves us with the question of how can we heal this wound. We are approaching this by:
- Building relationships between communities
- Taking action to address the ongoing legacy of colonialism
In addition to the above request for an Aboriginal Liason officer and the name change for Langevin School, we continue to support:
- The creation of an Indigenous Gathering Place as a cultural, spiritual and community centre in Calgary. For more information about the Indigenous Gathering Place, please visit https://www.indigenousgatheringplace.com.
- Practicing the teaching of Making Wolf – as a model for truth-telling and making peace after a conflict.
- Learning how to build alliances between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples and sharing what we learn.
- Addressing the “colonial mindset” through education, relationship-building and connecting to the land.
- The “Wrestling with the Truth of Colonization” training, a five-session process to help us wrestle with the truth of colonization, and move from being tokenistic to allies to accomplices in the work of reconciliation. To learn more, please visit https://www.calgarycommongood.org/2021_wrestling_with_the_truth_of_colonization
The Truth & Reconciliation Research Action Team meets once per month to work together on this Campaign. Meetings are hosted on Zoom on the Second Tuesday of every month at 7:30 p.m.
To join or learn more please e-mail [email protected].
We are grateful for the support of the Calgary Foundation which has helped fund this work.