REACH AGM to explore relationships and reconciliation in community
In the wake of unmarked graves, a papal apology and the creation of the National Day of Reconciliation, the issue of repairing relations has been increasingly on Canadians’ minds.
The century-spanning issue of colonization, and what reconciliation could look like, is complex, often leaving community members unsure of where they can start.
REACH Edmonton’s 2023 AGM Showcase aims to explore how Edmontonians can contribute to reconciliation in their own lives, through practical actions, featuring guest speakers Cheryl Whiskeyjack and Lewis Cardinal.
The event, held June 8 at MacEwan University’s Feigel Conference Centre, will feature short presentations from each speaker, focused on the shared stories of relationships in community, in the context of facing the ongoing effects of colonization.
Cheryl Whiskeyjack's career serving in the public service and vulnerable populations spans over 30 years. Currently appointed as the Public Trustee for the Province, she has worked in the Government of Alberta, Government of BC and in London England.
She aims to bring an inclusive and inviting lens to issues around creating connections through open dialogue in difficult contexts.
“We want to take an opportunity to call people in and be curious,” says Whiskeyjack. “We’re planting seeds for conversations to happen in community.”
Lewis Cardinal is Woodland Cree from the Sucker Creek Cree First Nation in northern Alberta, Canada. His consulting company, Cardinal Strategic Communications, specializes in Indigenous education, communications, and project development. He is also owner and CEO of Red Earth Blue Sky Productions, a multi-media production company. Currently, Lewis is Project Manager for kihcihkaw askiy-Sacred Land, in the City of Edmonton, the first designated urban Indigenous ceremony grounds in Canada.
“Reconciliation is an action,” says Cardinal, who will discuss why it’s essential to view reconciliation as an ongoing process, which carries within itself the spirit and intent of the first Treaty to the modern treaties.
“The intent of Treaty is to bind us together as family. It’s all about relationships,” he says. “When you hear Oh Canada or see our flag there should be a slight tapping on your shoulder and the question that comes to mind is : Are your relationships in order?”
By exploring reconciliation with a multi-generational lens and a focus on personal responsibility towards action in our own lives and communities, REACH hopes to create an informative and explorative space to learn about this issue which has been on the minds of all Canadians increasingly over the past few years.
REACH’s AGM is an opportunity to learn about the impactful work of REACH and our community partners. This event is Thursday, June 8th, 4:00 pm at the MacEwan University Feigel Conference Centre (Room 11-204, Allard Hall, MacEwan University, 11110 104 Avenue NW, Edmonton, AB T5K 1M9). For more information, or to register, click here.