September 15, 2016: Capilano University's fourth Truth and Reconciliation Week runs September 19 to 23, 2016
NORTH VANCOUVER B.C. – Every surface in Capilano University’s aboriginal student centre, Kéxwusm-áyakn, was occupied Wednesday morning as students in an Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) class snipped fabric squares in preparation the University’s fourth Truth and Reconciliation Week.
David Kirk, Capilano University’s First Nations advisor, relished the opportunity to talk to the ECCE class about the meaning of truth and reconciliation. He looks forward to the questions and awareness sure to be raised during the upcoming week.
This year, the University’s Truth and Reconciliation Week will include a moment of reflection about the legacies of residential schools that Kirk hopes will be acknowledged by students, faculty, staff and administrators across campus.
Events include film screenings, Squamish Elder Latash Nahanee speaking to history classes, panel discussions, talking circles and potlucks. The ECCE students snipped squares on which passersby can write what reconciliation means to them, to be incorporated into a massive wall display.
A Blanket Exercise, which covers more than 500 years of history in an interactive workshop, will be held on Thursday, September 22. Participants will take on the roles of Indigenous peoples in Canada. Standing on blankets that represent the land, they will walk through pre-contact, treaty-making, colonization and resistance. They will take direction from facilitators, read scrolls and carry cards that ultimately determine their outcomes. It’s an exercise that engages participants both emotionally and intellectually.
While the week’s events are typically well attended by members of the campus community, the public is welcome to participate. The keynote address, Reconciliation: A New Way Forward, will be delivered by Shelley Joseph, public outreach lead and cultural advisor for Reconciliation Canada, at the BlueShore Financial Centre for the Performing Arts on Friday, September 23 at 2 p.m.
“Capilano University strives to nurture responsible and respectful leaders who succeed by fully developing their unique gifts,” says Richard Gale, acting president of Capilano University. “Fostering a deep understanding of Indigenous people’s historic and ongoing struggles, their acts of resistance and resilience, and the work that still needs to be done by all of us should serve to strengthen our students, our campus, and our society as whole.”
Latash Nahanee believes all Canadians need to know the truth of our shared history which includes Indigenous people being mistreated by colonial governments.
“But we should not be locked into history,” he says. “Today, we need to look at how we should address past wrongs so we come to a just society and a social sharing of the resources of our country.”
About Capilano University
Capilano University is a teaching-focused university based in North Vancouver, with programming serving the Sunshine Coast and the Sea-to-Sky corridor. The University offers more than 100 programs, including 12 bachelor’s degrees, in areas as diverse as film and animation, early childhood education and tourism management. Capilano University enrols approximately 11,600 students each year, 8,300 in for-credit programs and 3,300 in non-credit courses. Capilano University is named after Chief Joe Capilano, an important leader of the Squamish (Sḵwx̱wú7mesh) Nation of the Coast Salish people. Our campuses are located on the territories of the Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh, Musqueam, Lil’wat and Sechelt (shíshálh) Nations.
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