Embracing Reconciliation on National Aboriginal Day

June 19, 2015

Reconciliation. What does that word mean to you? How does it affect you? Is it just something for First Nations peoples only? Is it just for those who treated First Nations unjustly? Does is affect your work, your family, your life in your community?

Chief Justice Murray Sinclair has released the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Findings on Residential Schools at the beginning this month. Canadians have insight, now more than ever, into the atrocities endured by more than 150,000 First Nations, Métis and Inuit children who were ripped away from their families and their culture, and how the pain of residential schools has reverberated through Indigenous communities since.

And now, with the publication of the findings, this is a time to look forward and understand. It’s a time of teaching and a time for learning. It’s time for a national conversation about the role of all Canadians in reconciliation. It’s a time for each of us to open up and affect positive change in our communities by taking action, however small it is: by listening, reaching out, learning more, volunteering, advocating for change and hopefully joining the reconciliation movement.

Because reconciliation is an action word that asks that we each find a way to do our part.

Sunday, June 21st is Canada’s National Aboriginal Day, a day to honour and celebrate the cultures of all First Peoples across Canada. Celebrations are planned in several communities where Aboriginal people are inviting everyone to learn about our traditions and our culture, our songs, our food, our histories and our plans for a strong, bright future. It’s an opportunity to show our pride. See the list at the bottom of this email for a celebration near you.

The reconciliation movement has begun.

You can also join us in the personal ribbon campaign. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission states: “The very act of presenting ribbons to others is a step on the journey of reconciliation.” Ribbons of Reconciliation are not just ribbons in the traditional sense but take the form of many things: rocks, shells, cloth, glass, or any other object that carries meaning for you. Ribbons of Reconciliation can be scarves both small or large, banners, they can be embroidered pieces of work, photographs or calligraphy. Absolutely anything that your ingenuity creates or that inspires you.

If you are a Twitter user, participate in the Twibbon campaign and tell the TRC of Canada why reconciliation matters to you.

In solidarity, 

Joyce Galuska,

MoveUP executive board member
Human Rights Committee chair
Haida Nation member

National Aboriginal Day celebrations in our communities. (Listed alphabetically. Despite best efforts the list is not exhaustive.)

British Columbia:

Day: June 21, 2015
Time: 10:00 am to 3:00 pm
Location/Venue: Pass Creek Park, Castlegar
Phone: 250-231-4968
Circle of Indigenous Nations Society

K’omoks National Aboriginal Day
Day: June 21, 2015
Time: 11:00 am to 6:00 pm
Location/Venue: 3320 Comox Road (the village site of the K’omoks First Nation)
Learn more here

Day: June 21, 2015
Time: 11:30 am to 3:30 pm
Location/Venue: McDonald Park
Phone: 250-376-1296  Kamloops Aboriginal Friendship Society
Phone: 250-554-9486  Lii Michif Otipemisiwak Family And Community Services Society

Day: June 21, 2015
Time: All day
Tk’emlúps Te Secwépemc Events

Day: June 21, 2015
Time: 12:00 pm to 4:30 pm
Location/Venue: Stuart Park, 1414 Water Street/Leon Avenue from Pandosy Street to Ellis Street
Métis Community Services Society of BC &  Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society

Maple Ridge
Day: June 20, 2015
Time: 10:00 am to 2:00 pm
Location/Venue: Memorial Peace Park, 11900 224th Street
Fraser River All Nations Aboriginal Society

Mayne Island 
Day: June 21, 2015
Time: 10:00 am to 2:00 pm
Location/Venue: Mayne Island School
Phone: 778-239-2525

Day: June 21, 2015
Time: 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Location/Venue: Rotary Park
Phone: 250-378-5107 x 8508
Conayt Friendship Society

Day: June 21, 2015
Time: 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.
Location/Venue: Bowen Park, picnic area off Wall Street
Phone: 250-754-3215
Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre

Port Alberni
Day: June 22, 2015
Time: 11:30 am to 2:30 pm
Location/Venue: Port Alberni Friendship Center, Clutesi Hall
Phone: 250-723-8281
Port Alberni Friendship Center

Prince George 
Day: June 21, 2015
Time: 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
Location/Venue: Lheidli T’enneh Memorial Park, 17th Avenue or 20th Avenue
Phone: 250-561-7600
Lhedli T’enneh First Nation

Prince Rupert
Day: June 21, 2015
Time:  12:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Location/Venue: weather permitting, at the Waterfront. In the event of rain, the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre

Day: June 21, 2015
Time: 10:00 am to 3:30 pm
Location/Venue: Lebourdais Park
Phone: 259-992-8347  School District #28 – Quesnel
Phone: 250-992-9160  North Cariboo Aboriginal Family Program Society

Day: June 21, 2015
Time: 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Location/Venue: Gulf of Georgia Cannery, 12138 Fourth Avenue
Phone: 604-271-7600
Richmond Youth Service Agency – National Aboriginal Day

Day: June 21, 2015
Time: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Location/Venue: George Little Park
Phone: 250-635-4906
Kermode Friendship Society

Trout Lake Aboriginal Day
Day: June 21, 2015
Time: 11:00 am
Location/Venue: Trout Lake
Phone: 604-251-4844
Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre Society National Aboriginal Day

Musqueam Celebrates Aboriginal Day 2015
Day: June 21, 2015
Time: 11:00 to 3:00 pm
Location/Venue: 63735 Salish Drive
Phone: 604-263-3261
Musqueam Indian Band

Day: June 19 – June 21, 2015
Location/Venue: Royal Museum of BC, 675 Belleville Street
Victoria Aboriginal Cultural Festival 

The 2015 Aboriginal Cultural Festival is three days of spectacular performances on an outdoor stage in the plaza at the Royal BC Museum in the heart of downtown Victoria, BC. Each day starts with performances from the two local host Nations and follows with shows from Aboriginal performers from across the province as well as a show from 3-time World Hoop Dancing Champion Alex Wells.

Williams Lake 
Day: June 21, 2015
Time: 10:00 am
Location/Venue: Downtown Williams Lake and Boitanio Park
Phone: 250-392-7361
Northern Shuswap Tribal Council


Day: June 20, 2015
Time: 9:30 am to 9:00 pm
Location/Venue: Calgary Stampede Indian Village
Aboriginal Awareness Week Calgary


Fun Walk & BBQ
Day: June 20, 2015
Time: 10:00 am to 2:00 pm
Location/Venue: Inglewood Linear Park – 118 Avenue to 121A St, Walking Trail
Phone: 780-482-5522
Edmonton Native Healing Centre

Aboriginal Day Live & Celebration
Day: June 20, 2015
Time: 12:00 pm concert at 6:30 pm
Location/Venue: Louise McKinney Riverfront Park
Aboriginal Day Live

National Aboriginal Day Summer Solstice Celebration
Day: June 21, 2015
Time: 11:00 am to 6:00 pm
Location/Venue: Churchill Square
Phone: 780-477-7961
Creating Hope Society of Alberta