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Two Local Organizations Partner to Spread Awareness on Truth and Reconciliation

Reconciliation Thunder and Circles for Reconciliation are partnering to spread awareness about the 94 calls to action released by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 2015.

Jimmy Thunder started reconciliation Thunder. In an interview with U Multicultural, he shared that “at one point in my life I had to recognize that I needed to learn more about our history, and I was really curious about how the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in this country had gotten so bad.” This led him to start his nonprofit organization to create accessible, high-quality resources that teach the public about truth and reconciliation.

Raymond Currie is the project coordinator for Circles and Reconciliation. Currie got involved with Truth and Reconciliation after reading the preliminary report from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. It called upon the public to answer its calls to action. Moved by them, he spent nine months consulting Indigenous peoples, after which he involved himself with Circles for Reconciliation. The organization started on the idea of having a full and equal partnership with First Nations people to build mutually respective relationships. “You can’t do anything unless you respect each other so that’s what we tried to do,” said Currie.
Grace Schedler is the Indigenous ambassador for Circles for Reconciliation.

In June of this year, both organizations partnered to create a social media campaign called 94in94 to raise awareness of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 calls to action. The campaign is planned to end on Sept. 30, on The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, the federal government’s new statutory holiday introduced in June.

The #94in94 campaign hopes to inform the general public on what they can do, what the 94 calls to action are and to get as many people involved as possible in the process of reconciliation. “The goal is that through this campaign we teach people that these 94 calls to action exist, and these are concrete ways that you can contribute towards reconciliation in Canada,” said Thunder.

Through their work alone, Circles for Reconciliation addresses six of the calls to action. When asked about what reconciliation would look like once these calls to action have been achieved, all three agreed that to imagine such a world, one must first picture a society where it wasn’t needed in the first place. In a world like that, treaties would have been respected and remembered, there would be no residential schools, and First Nations would have the right to self-determination, to decide for themselves how they wish to shape their fate. However, Currie also added that “reconciliation is a process more than an end goal.”

“We’re all leaders, we all have a part in this, we all can do something, we’re all empowered to do something, and really, we all need to do something.” – Jimmy Thunder.

– Michael Spivak, U Multicultural

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