A series of dialogues about reconciliation is being launched across Canada, starting Feb. 21 at the Vancouver Public Library.
The dialogues will take place in public libraries across Canada over an initial three-year period (2018-2021). More than 30 libraries have already expressed interest in taking part.
The idea of creating this series came from discussions held with members of Indigenous communities and others directly involved in formulating the Calls to Action issued by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Participants will watch a film that is intended to spark discussion in what is being described as safe spaces where Indigenous and non-Indigenous people can meet, interact and talk.
The goal of the series is to encourage Canadians who are not directly involved in the reconciliation process or who are not exposed to Indigenous history and culture to participate. By creating spaces where both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people can interact in a spirit of openness and mutual discovery, this series of Canada-wide events will help establish and strengthen ties between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.
Indigenous and non-Indigenous people are still all too often strangers to each other, reads a press statement.
“The NFB, which has produced close to 300 films by First Nations, Inuit, or Métis directors, is proud to participate in this initiative,” said Claude Joli-Cœur, Government Film Commissioner and Chairperson of the National Film Board. “These presentations of strong, original works will spark real dialogue between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities around the country, ushering in a new era of sharing and helping to transform our national collective consciousness.”
The Canadian Commission for UNESCO (CCUNESCO) is partnering with the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR), the National Film Board of Canada(NFB), the Indigenous Matters Committee of the Canadian Federation of Library Associations (CFLA) and Library and Archives Canada (LAC) to launch the series.
After Vancouver, the sessions will move to Montréal (Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec) on March 1, and Halifax (Halifax Central Library) on April 4, yet that date has yet to be confirmed.