Reconciliation Isn’t Dead. Here are 94 Reasons Why

This year, 2020, has seen some difficult moments in Indigenous relations in this country. But, I don’t think it has been so dire that reconciliation can be deemed dead, as some naysayers are declaring. Do they have the right to make that declaration? What is to be gained by declaring reconciliation dead? Why would anyone want to give up at this point? What is there to gain from giving up? And those who make this declaration, do they have an alternative option? Something better that is going to effectively change the status quo faster?  

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Back to School Then and Now

This article includes a video of a conversation I had with my father  Chief Robert Joseph O.C, O.B.C, about his first day at residential school and how he felt when he took his children to school. 

The return to school in September fills some with great glee and others with a pit of dread in their stomach. This year, under the shadow of COVID-19, teachers, parents, and caregivers, alike share a common theme of deep concern and anxiety about how safety measures of physical distancing can be managed in classrooms, during recess and lunch breaks, and during sports activities in order to protect the students. 

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What is Orange Shirt Day?

Orange shirt day is a movement that officially began in 2013 but in reality it began in 1973 when six year old Phyllis Webstad entered the St. Joseph Mission Residential School, outside of Williams Lake, BC. Young Phyllis was wearing a brand new orange shirt for her first day of school – new clothes being a rare and wonderful thing for a First Nation girl growing up in her grandmother’s care - but the Mission Oblates quickly stripped her of her new shirt and replaced it with the school’s institutional uniform.

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11 Ways to Virtually Celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day

In National Indigenous Peoples Day: 10 ways to celebrate we have suggestions for celebrating this important day. Most of the suggestions involve attending an event or visiting a site. What a difference a year makes. National Indigenous Peoples Day 2020 celebrations are among the many events that have been cancelled due to the pandemic. We didn’t want you to miss out so we’ve compiled a list of 10 activities you can enjoy at home. 

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Indigenous Relations in the Time of COVID-19

The world is a challenging and rapidly changing place right now and all indications suggest that it will remain as such for quite some time. Government leaders are adapting policies and creating new ones to address the impacts imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Organizations, corporations, small and large businesses have all been thrown the same curve ball and adapting where possible to continue serving their clients and customers. It’s as though we are all “boom cats” running on logs trying to avoid slipping under. 

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Suggestions for Helping Vulnerable and Remote Indigenous Communities

Amidst all the dire news about the trajectory of global and local COVID-19 case numbers and mortality, hoarding of necessities, fights in grocery stores it was a joy to receive a question from a follower asking how they could help remote or vulnerable Indigenous communities. 

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Skills based Indigenous relations training essential to reconciliation

As providers of a suite of Indigenous relations training, we frequently are asked if we offer “blanket exercises.” The short answer is “no, we don’t.”

The longer answer is we don’t provide blanket exercises because the courses we develop and deliver provide the knowledge, skills, and attitude or competency-based training that changes attitudes and behaviours and equips non-Indigenous Canadians to have respectful relationships with Indigenous Peoples.  

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Recession Proof Your Career With Indigenous Relations Training

In an earlier article we took a look at why companies should protect their Aboriginal relations strategy in a recession. In this article we offer a suggestion on how individuals can recession proof their careers.

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Indigenous Title and The Doctrine of Discovery

Indigenous Peoples believe they have held title to their traditional lands or territories from the moment their Creators placed them on that land (time immemorial) and bestowed them with the responsibility to care for it……...forever. But then European explorers arrived, planted flags, and laid claim to all they saw. How was that possible?

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Weaving Reconciliation into Your Meetings

Land acknowledgements are increasingly present at the beginning of meetings in board rooms, lectures, classrooms, entertainment events etc. Land acknowledgements are also appearing on an impressive number of websites and in email signature blocks. I have been advocating for land acknowledgements for over 25 years as an Indigenous relations trainer so it is rewarding to know that corporations, organizations, and individuals are making the effort to research the history of the Peoples on whose land they are meeting or working in order to draft the acknowledgement. It’s an important contribution to reconciliation and decolonization. 

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