An Update from the TRC in Vancouver- Day 3
It was another incredibly moving day at the TRC.
Jill Harris is with us here at the TRC. She is a member of the Penelakut Nation, an elder and former chief, a residential schools survivor, a member of the Dignity and Rights Circle, and a participant in the Women of Courage project.
She gave a public testimony to the Commissioners panel. It was both heartbreaking and inspiring. She began saying that this was her third testimony, as she had also testified in the regional hearings in Duncan and Victoria, and in this testimony she would focus on reconciliation and healing.
She talked about her experience with KAIROS and the Women of Courage program. She remembered being asked to go to Colombia on the women of courage visit and thinking “how could I be a woman of courage?”
She remembered the scared little girl she had been at 10, and the abused and violated teen. She described going to Colombia and meeting with Indigenous people there who were facing issues of militarization and displacement. She talked about her recent trip to the Philippines, about being hosted by an Indigenous community in the Cordillera- the community of KAIROS partner Vernie Yocogan Diano, who witnessed the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Quebec national Event in April.
She thanked her friends and support including KAIROS and her new friend Naty. Later, in her concluding remarks, Commissioner Wilson, drew from Jill’s testimony and spoke about women of courage and the importance of ally organizations like KAIROS.
That evening, we gathered again for Expressions of Reconciliation, including an Expression by KAIROS British Columbia Yukon. Read about it.
Tomorrow we are off to visit Joanne Jefferson of the KAIROS Indigenous Rights Circle at the Sto:lo Nation, upstream along the Fraser River.
– Rachel Warden, Latin American and Gender Justice program coordinator