To ‘reconcile’ is to weave a stronger and more vibrant social fabric, based on the unique and diverse strengths of Canadians and their communities (Reconciliation Canada).
The Reconciliation Walk had over 70,000 people join together in Vancouver British Columbia in September 2013 for a powerful walk to pave a new way forward. The movement is to create a new social fabric where all diverse and unique strengths of Canada come together in unity. Reconciliation Canada describes themselves as a means to build strong relationships among Aboriginal Peoples and all Canadians. “Reconciliation” means to move beyond the sorry and misunderstandings and join together in unity and understanding of a history and culture. The path they walk represents the journey into a new and “shared tomorrow” (Reconciliation Canada). Elder Chief Dr. Robert Joseph had the vision of this powerful walk and movement. The walk is a charitable project established as a collaboration between Indian Residential School Survivors Society and Tides Canada Initiative Society (Reconciliation Canada).
I believe that one reason why the Reconciliation walk is so powerful is because it brings forward the knowledge that we are not alone. It reminds me of the healing ceremony in Porcupines and China Dolls where the community comes together in unity to fight their battle together. They do not have to do it alone and the knowledge of this is powerful in the journey toward healing and reconciliation.
Dr. Bernice King was the keynote speaker at the event which marked the 50th anniversary of her father Martin Luther King “I have a dream” speech.
Idle No More and Creating a “Web of Relations”
One of the largest movements in Canadian history so far is the Idle No More movement.
“Idle No More calls on all people to join in a peaceful revolution, to honour Indigenous sovereignty, and to protect the land and water” (www.idlenomore.ca)
The movement is not just about Indigenous People coming together in unity, it is about the unity of ALL diverse cultures coming together in support of this movement. Support for creating change and equality among all people. Idle No More creates interconnected social communities to form the “spider web” of relations. Social media plays a large part of this web of relations and creating online publics and communities. Through this movement and the social media behind it, people can engage themselves in the community and as an individual member of the community. People involved can be up to date on all the events, ceremonies, and/or pow wow’s that are happening the community and raise awareness for the importance of these movements.
It is time for us to unite in one shared goal – to stand up for our rights and freedom as humans, no matter what our colour, beliefs or traditions are. The movement is about human empowerment and protection and strength. It is about creating equality and ample opportunity for next generations. UNITED WE STAND.
Indigenous People and culture has been through devastation due to the assumption that European’s are superior over non-Europeans. This belief has lead to residential schools of the Indigenous People and cultural genocide. The effects are still heavy on the colonized today. Many Indian People struggle with the idea that they have to live up to this preconceived idea what how they are supposed to act. Euro-Canadians have come up with the idea of the “real Indian” and if that idea is not reached, they sadly become known as the “Vanishing Indian”. Healing takes place when people come together in unity to share their stories. Knowledge that they are not alone is powerful for healing process. People must stand up and fight the internal demons together as a community. Movements such as Idle No more and the Reconciliation Canada walk are just some of the roads to reconciliation and empowerment among Indigenous and all humans today. All humans need to work toward empowerment and giving all people a voice for the journey toward healing to be well on its way.
Kim Vannetten, student at Trent University Oshawa.