KAIROS Gears Up for the TRC’s Alberta National Event
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC’s) Alberta National Event is taking place in Edmonton from March 27-30, 2014 and KAIROS will be well represented by the Executive Director, three staff, a youth delegation and countless KAIROS volunteers.This is an opportunity for everyone, whether in person or from a distance, to support and be part of an historic process that is finally adding the devastating legacy of Indian residential schools to our country’s official record. Please tune in to the live webcasting of the event which will be accessible from the TRC’s main page: www.trc.ca.
Here are some of the many ways that KAIROS is showing support for the Alberta National Event.
A pre-event on March 26 will explore the intersection of issues affecting Indigenous peoples, migrant and faith communities. Reconciliation with the Land and its Peoples is a collaboration with Action for Healthy Communities, the Mapuche Nation Support Committee and the TRC, and will include a panel discussion and the KAIROS Blanket Exercise.
The opening day of the TRC will see over a thousand students participate in Education Day. One of the learning activities being offered is the Blanket Exercise, which will be led by KAIROS staff and youth facilitators from Lloydminster, Alberta.
Kings University College in Edmonton is also holding an Education Day on March 27 and KAIROS staff, accompanied by members of the youth delegation, will give a presentation on Reconciliation in the Watershed: A Post-TRC Pathway of Discipleship.
Also at Kings University College, is an ecumenical session that is open to all called reForming Relationships: Debriefing the TRC. Taking place on March 28 from 7:30 – 9:30 pm, KAIROS is collaborating on this event with a number of other organizations.
The KAIROS Prairies North Region has commissioned a stunning quilt that they will offer, along with a statement, to the Bentwood Box as a gesture of reconciliation. It was designed by Evelyn Martin and made by Irene Vander Kloet. The design shows the night sky with northern lights – a nod to KAIROS’ logo – and the eagle which symbolizes the Creator’s protection, like a blanket, over the children in residential schools (see photo in side bar). This gesture of reconciliation will take place on March 29 sometime between 4 and 5 pm.
The closing day of the event includes a panel discussion co-sponsored by KAIROS called Pearls of Wisdom. Three prominent Indigenous women, Morning Sun Woman – Marilyn Buffalo, Jules Arita Koostachin and Theresa Strawberry, will explore the impact of residential schools on Indigenous grandmothers, mothers and daughters, and share ideas about how communities can recover by reinstating and embracing cultural traditions that honour and restore the dignity of Indigenous women and girls.
Finally, throughout the National Event, KAIROS will have a booth in the display area. This is an opportunity to share with visitors why the TRC process is so important to the KAIROS community.
As this is the last National Event, KAIROS is hopeful that with your help we can continue to build momentum toward the launch of the TRC’s final report in June 2015. We can all play a role in ensuring the TRC’s recommendations are implemented as part of a lasting movement for truth, reconciliation and equity with Indigenous peoples in Canada.