Many settlers wish they could ask Indigenous people questions about reconciliation without appearing foolish or rude. Canadian Friends Service Committee knows that not every settler has the opportunity to have open dialogue with Indigenous friends and neighbours. This is why we want to give you a chance to hear the answers to some important questions from some of our Indigenous partners, people that we work closely with and trust to give us honest responses, and who trust us enough to engage with this project!
Over the past year we have been meeting with our Indigenous friends and asking them questions about reconciliation. Are you curious about their responses? The good news is that we brought a videographer with us to capture the conversations. More good news, those videos are below.
Meet some of our Indigenous friends and partners and hear what they had to say about reconciliation…
Naomi Bob (she/her) is an Indigenous Youth Wellness Project Coordinator with PHSA Indigenous Health. Her family is from Snaw’naw’as/Nanoose First Nation, Lyackson First Nation, Peguis First Nation, and her grandfather was a settler from Melbu, Norway. She lives on the unceded and occupied ancestral territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.
Here is what Naomi had to say…
Haana Edenshaw is from the Tsiits Git’anee clan of Haida Gwaii. She has been an environmental justice and Indigenous rights activist throughout her life, including organizing climate strikes, speaking alongside Greta Thunberg at the Rally for Climate Justice in Vancouver, and delivering a speech in the Masset dialect of the Haida language at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.
Her deep commitment to social and environmental justice is rooted in the ancestral knowledge that land stewardship is both the basis of ecological health and essential to the practice and preservation of Indigenous culture.
At the time of filming Haana Edenshaw was part of a youth led action, including sleeping on the steps of the British Columbia legislature, to protest the Coastal GasLink pipeline on Wet’suwet’en territory.
Here is what Haana had to say…
Dr. Sheryl Lightfoot is Anishinaabe from the Lake Superior band of Ojibwe. She is the University of British Columbia’s Senior Advisor to the President on Indigenous Affairs and the Canada Research Chair of Global Indigenous Rights and Politics.
Here is what Sheryl had to say…
Kirby Muldoe is from the Tsimsian and Gitxsan Nations and he is a member of the Fireweed Clan in the house of Wii Gyet. His ancestral name is Hup Wil Lax A (carrier of wisdom). He has been an advocate for protecting and defending the environment and Indigenous human rights for decades.
Here is what Kirby had to say…
Collin Orchyk is from Treaty 1, Peguis First Nation, Manitoba. Collin is a student in the Indigenous education program at the University of British Columbia and a former Youth Reconciliation Leader for Canadian Roots Exchange. He is also a singer/songwriter and has provided all background music for the videos in the Indigenous Voices on Reconciliation Series.
Here is what Collin had to say…
Learn more about reconciliation.