In the wake of unmarked graves, a papal apology, and the creation of the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation, the issue of repairing relations has been increasingly on Canadians’ minds. 

The century-spanning issues of colonization and what reconciliation could look like are complex, often leaving community members unsure of where to start.

REACH Edmonton’s 2023 AGM Showcase aims to explore how Edmontonians can contribute to reconciliation in their own lives through practical actions, featuring guest speakers Cheryl Whiskeyjack and Lewis Cardinal.

The event, held on June 8 at MacEwan University’s Feigel Conference Centre, will feature short presentations from each speaker, focused on the shared stories of relationships in community, in the context of facing the ongoing effects of colonization.

Whiskeyjack’s career in the public service and serving vulnerable populations spans over 30 years. She has worked in the Government of Alberta, Government of B.C., and in London, England.

She aims to bring an inclusive and inviting lens to issues around creating connections through open dialogue in difficult contexts.

“We want to take an opportunity to call people in and be curious,” says Whiskeyjack. “We’re planting seeds for conversations to happen in community.”

Cardinal is Woodland Cree from the Sucker Creek First Nation in northern Alberta, Canada. His consulting company, Cardinal Strategic Communications, specializes in Indigenous education, communications, and project development. He is also owner and CEO of Red Earth Blue Sky Productions, a multimedia production company. Currently, Lewis is project manager, with the Indigenous Knowledge and Wisdom Centre, for kihcihkaw askiy-Sacred Land, the first designated urban Indigenous ceremony grounds in Canada. 

Register to attend the REACH AGM event.

“Reconciliation is an action,” says Cardinal, who will discuss why it’s essential to view reconciliation as an ongoing process, which carries within itself the spirit and intent of the first Treaty to the modern treaties. 

“The intent of Treaty is to bind us together as family. It’s all about relationships,” he says. “When you hear Oh Canada or see our flag, there should be a slight tapping on your shoulder and the question that comes to mind is: Are your relationships in order?”

By exploring reconciliation with a multi-generational lens and a focus on personal responsibility towards action in our own lives and communities, REACH hopes to create an informative and explorative space to learn about this issue, which has been on the minds of Canadians increasingly over the past few years.

REACH’s AGM is an opportunity to learn about the impactful work of REACH and our community partners. This event is Thursday, June 8th at 4 pm at the MacEwan University Feigel Conference Centre (Room 11-204, Allard Hall, MacEwan University, 11110 104 Ave). For more information, or to register, click here: