SQUAMISH, B.C. – The Squamish Public Library and Squamish Nation are collaborating to raise local awareness of the mandate of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC), which honours both Aboriginal peoples and Canadians in a process of reconciliation and renewed relationships. Two important initiatives are being planned locally to begin this process of honouring the truth and reconciling for the future. An Evening Celebrating Reconciliation will take place on Monday, February 29 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Eagle Eye Theatre with honoured guest speaker Shelley Joseph of Reconciliation Canada, and elders from the Squamish Nation. Residents are also encouraged to pledge to read the Summary of the Final Report of the TRC, available online, at the Library, or at Totem Hall.
“The final report by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission is an incredibly important document for all Canadians, and a profound step forward in beginning to work towards healing as a nation,” says District of Squamish Mayor, Patricia Heintzman. “I have taken the pledge to read the report, and I urge our community members to do the same. Only through a shared acknowledgement of the past can we begin to reconcile and build a strong future together.”
Released in December 2015, Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Committee’s final report contains important historical details and first-hand accounts of what happened in residential schools, as well as 10 guiding principles and 94 recommendations or “Calls to Action”. These Calls to Action are steps that all Canadians can take towards improving the lives of Aboriginal peoples.
“It’s a long time coming, we as people of the Squamish Nation need to ensure our Children and Youth understand the ‘true history’ of this land – Our Lands,” said Squamish Nation Elders Kiyowil (Bob Baker), Humteya (Shirley Toman) and Chésha7 (Gwen Harry) in a joint statement. “This includes our School Teachers and Education Leaders to know and understand. It includes our departments, local organizations and our Leaders – Chief and Council, the municipal staff and elected Council and Mayor. Also, we must continue to learn and stay up to speed on any new developments or responses from The First Nation Communities, Reconciliation Canada and Provincial and Federal Governments.”
All Canadians are encouraged to pledge to read Honouring the Truth, Reconciling for the Future, the executive summary of the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. Pledge forms are available at Squamish Public Library and at Totem Hall. Pledge forms with links to the executive summary are also available online: fluidsurveys.com/s/take-the-pledge.
“The Squamish Public Library, as a community hub and a trusted source for information, is ideally situated to provide people with access to information about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s findings,” says Chelsea Jordan-Makely, Public Services Librarian at the Squamish Public Library. “We hope that reading this report, watching the YouTube videos, and/or attending our event on February 29 will provide people with the knowledge to start the healing process, reflect on their own choices and behaviours, and engage in productive discussions with other community members.”
For more information visit the Squamish Public Library website.