Edmonton looks back on three years of reconciliation
March 30 event at City Hall will see how far Edmonton has come three years after the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and where it needs to go.
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Canada’s 150th anniversary is the perfect time to see how Edmonton has evolved three years after the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, according to one advocate.
Miranda Jimmy, co-founder of Reconciliation and Solidarity Edmonton (RISE), is organizing a day full of reconciliation-themed events at city hall March 30th to mark the third anniversary of the commission making 94 calls to action.
“It’s a moment to stop and reflect on what’s happened in those last three years and also how far we still need to go,” Jimmy told Metro. “I think in this particular year of Canada 150, we have an opportunity to soberly reflect on who we are as Canadians, to honour our first peoples and make sure our country actually is welcoming and inclusive of everyone who lives here.”
Jimmy said the commission has helped Canadians understand the legacy of residential schools on Indigenous people and the social issues that have plagued First Nations as a result.
But the real progress is harder to gauge.
“That kind of raised awareness is important,” she said, “but as far as concrete actions, I think we have a long ways to go. The calls to action are monumental change required at all levels of Canadian society. I can’t say that there are a bunch of checkmarks saying ‘done’ because the change is so huge.”
On a local level, Jimmy (who is running for council in the next election) credits the City of Edmonton for giving employees training on Indigenous issues even before the commission made that one of its calls to action.
However, she said $200,000 committed to reconciliation in 2014 has still gone unused by council.
The March 30 event will feature an expert panel on progress to date, the launch of a reconciliation book club featuring the memoir My Decade at Old Sun, My Lifetime of Hell by Arthur Bear Chief, and cultural programming.