A Series of Community Conversations to Explore Reconciliation
You are invited to participate in the Victoria Reconciliation Dialogues, a six-part series of conversations that will enable the community to explore together what Reconciliation could look like on Lekwungen territory.
Guided by members of Lekwungen Nations and the City Family, Mayor Lisa Helps, members of city council and special guests, the conversations will seek to build the community’s knowledge and understanding of reconciliation: what it is, why it is needed, and why community conversations about reconciliation are important.
Over the next 11 months, the Victoria Reconciliation Dialogues will provide opportunities for indigenous and non-indigenous people to come together to share their ideas and stories, and explore how we as a community can make the culture, history and modern reality of local indigenous peoples become present and apparent throughout the city, and understood and valued in people’s everyday lives. The Victoria Reconciliation Dialogues will build on the City’s Witness Reconciliation Program, established in 2017 to bring together indigenous representatives from both the Esquimalt and Songhees nations as well as urban indigenous peoples, Mayor Lisa Helps, and representatives from city council and staff, forming a group called the City Family.
About the Conversations
The format of the conversations will vary and may include storytelling, discussion and other forms of indigenous learning. As the sharing of personal stories can trigger strong emotions, a counsellor will be on hand at each conversation.
The Victoria Reconciliation Dialogues series is free to attend and all are welcome. You can choose to attend some or all of the conversations.
Free childminding will be available (up to two hours per conversation) and complimentary refreshments will be provided.
Dialogue #1: Lekwungen Knowledge and the Land
Monday, September 30, 2019 from 6 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. approx. (Doors open at 5:30p.m.) Victoria City Hall Guided by: Florence Dick, Songhees Nation and Victoria City Councillor Marianne Alto This first conversation will introduce Reconciliation by drawing on the guidance of Lekwungen Elders and members about the land on which we live.
Dialogue #2: The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP) and the City
Monday, November 18, 2019 from 6 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. approx. (Doors open at 5:30 p.m.) Victoria City Hall Guided by: Brianna Dick and Mayor Lisa Helps This conversation will provide an overview of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, known as UNDRIP, and will engage participants in reflecting on the UNDRIP as it relates to their own work and everyday lives, as well as to the work of the City in Reconciliation with the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations and urban Indigenous Peoples.
Dialogue #3: Newcomers to Canada and Reconciliation
Monday, January 20, 2020 from 6 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. approx. (Doors open at 5:30 p.m.) Victoria City Hall Guided by: Carey Newman, Mayor Lisa Helps and Victoria City Councillor Sharmarke Dubow This conversation will focus on what Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples means to newcomers to Canada, and will ask participants to consider their own responsibilities around Reconciliation.
Dialogue #4: Sir John A. Macdonald in Conversation
Monday, March 2, 2020 from 6 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. approx. (Doors open at 5:30 p.m.) Location TBA Guided by: Dr. Cindy Blackstock, Officer, Order of Canada and Mayor Lisa Helps This conversation will open with a theatrical presentation to introduce the complex life and work of Sir John A. Macdonald. Participants will be asked to consider the politics of, and appropriate context for, monuments to controversial historical figures, including the City of Victoria's Sir John A. Macdonald statue. Note: The purpose of the conversation is not to determine or debate the future home of the statue, but rather to help inform Council decision-making on next steps.
Dialogue #5: Community Response to the Victoria Urban Reconciliation Dialogues Event
Monday, May 4, 2020 from 6 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. approx. (Doors open at 5:30 p.m.) Victoria City Hall Guided by: Janice Simcoe, Camosun College, Mayor Lisa Helps and Victoria City Councillor Marianne Alto The Victoria Urban Reconciliation Dialogues will hold a regional gathering to discuss Reconciliation. This conversation will debrief and reflect on this event.
Dialogue #6: Our Shared Future
Wednesday, July 8, 2020 from 6 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. approx. (Doors open at 5:30 p.m.) Location TBA Guided by: Brianna Dick, Rebeccah Nelems, Associate, Cedar Trees Institute, University of Victoria, and Mayor Lisa Helps The final conversation will be youth-led, asking participants to think about a shared future from the perspective of Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth. The conversation will be forward-looking, identifying community-generated, collaborative Reconciliation activities in which residents and the City of Victoria might engage in the future.
NOTE: The end time for the Dialogues will depend on the length of each conversation.
To assist us with event planning, please pre-register for some or all of the conversations you'd like to attend.
- Dialogue #1: Lekwungen Knowledge and the Land
- Dialogue #2: The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP) and the City
- Dialogue #3: Newcomers to Canada and Reconciliation
- Dialogue #4: Sir John A. Macdonald in Conversation (if you know where to register for this, please tell the webmaster)
- Dialogue #5: Community Response to Victoria Urban Reconciliations Dialogues Event
- Dialogue #6: Our Shared Future (if you know where to register for this, please tell the webmaster)
The series has received $10,000 in funding from the Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation’s Urban Communities Partnering for Reconciliation pilot program. Facilitated by the Union of BC Municipalities, the pilot program supports events and activities that provide a time and place for dialogue to build on opportunities, support reconciliation efforts, resolve issues of common responsibility, interest or concern, or to advance tangible outcomes.