Pre-register to join us IN-PERSON for three NEW Victoria Reconciliation Dialogues in 2022! The events are free and all are welcome.
The City of Victoria and City Family’s popular series, the Victoria Reconciliation Dialogues, returns with Dialogue #5 on May 30 having been placed on hold in early 2020 due to the pandemic. Three upcoming conversations will enable community members to participate in person in reconciliation on Lekwungen territory. Guided by members of the City Family and special guests, the conversations seek to build the community’s knowledge and understanding of reconciliation – what it is, why it is needed and why community participation in reconciliation is important. You’re invited to pre-register through Eventbrite to participate in some or all of the Dialogues. The format will vary and may include storytelling, discussion and other forms of learning, with each conversation being approximately 2.5 hours in length. Each Dialogue will include an Indigenous welcome by Florence Dick of the Songhees Nation, and a witness ceremony at the end.
The three Dialogues will include:
Urban Indigenous people living in Lekwungen territory are not people of the Lekwungen lands. Yet as Indigenous people in Canada, they are often displaced from their own homelands through the process of colonization, including the sixties scoop and other colonial practices. This Dialogue will share stories that highlight the experiences of Urban Indigenous people living in Lekwungen territory and the diversity of Indigenous experience. There will also be live musical performances.
Victoria has an award-winning heritage conservation program that has retained many of the early settler buildings in the city. At the same time as these buildings were built, Lekwungen heritage was systematically dismantled and erased. This Dialogue will feature members of the Songhees Nation, Esquimalt Nation and City staff who have worked together on the Government Street Refresh project and will explore how to retain and celebrate the city’s colonial-built heritage at the same time as recognizing, honouring and making visible once again Lekwungen culture and land practices.
Working with the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations, in 2017 City Council established the City Family to take a Lekwungen-led approach to reconciliation. In this Dialogue, the City Family will present a Reconciliation Plan to the City and the community to carry on the work of reconciliation for decades to come. Participants will be asked to make a reconciliation commitment of their own. The session will feature Songhees Nation and Esquimalt Nation youth.
Held over the next five 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 present and apparent throughout the city – and understood and valued in people’s everyday lives.
The series is free to attend and will be webcast live. All are welcome. Free childminding will be available (up to two hours) and complimentary refreshments will be provided.
For more information and to pre-register, visit: victoria.ca/ReconciliationDialogues.
(Artwork by Brianna Bear)
Engagement, City of Victoria 1 Centennial Square, Victoria BC V8W 1P6