REACH Edmonton

REACH Edmonton’s sixth Annual General Meeting and Showcase Celebration had a different focus this year, as REACH presented An Evening of Reconciliation: We Are All Called to Action, June 9.

Nearly 250 people attended the evening that featured Dr. Patti LaBoucane-Benson and Shelagh Rogers who presented TED Talk-style discussions on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) recommendations and how each of us can contribute to reconciliation in our daily lives and how this contributes to a safer city for everyone.

Rogers and LaBoucane-Benson stressed the importance of understanding Indigenous history in Canada, and breaking out of stereotypical storylines so we can build a better society for everyone.

“There is no room for guilt, blame or shame. They’re useless emotions,” said LaBoucane-Benson. “We’ll never work together if we’re constantly blaming and shaming each other for the issues that we face.”

Rogers said it is important to listen to Indigenous people tell their own stories to fully understand what has happened in Canada since colonization.

“We are all treaty people,” said Rogers. “Listen. Be Transformed. Just sit with what you are hearing for a moment.”

Rogers encouraged the audience to also challenge what they hear in their daily lives as well as in the media.

“Reconciliation is not a second chance at assimilation,” said Rogers stressing the importance of settlers and Indigenous peoples coming together to build a shared future. “We need to honour the story that we are going to tell together.”

For those who were unable to attend the event, the webcast can be viewed here.