media release

Multicultural dialogue on reconciling injustice

January 20, 2014

Robin Prest, Centre for Dialogue, 778.782.7885,
Scott McLean, SFU Vancouver, 778.782.5151,

A unique, multicultural dialogue convened by Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Dialogue on Jan. 23 aims to be one of the country’s most comprehensive events on exploring how Canadian society can and should approach reconciliation.

Reconciling Injustices in a Pluralistic Canada, to be held at SFU’s Vancouver campus, will bring together representatives from three levels of government, major institutions, and people affected by injustice. Its goal is to bridge the experiences of diversely affected communities to increase public awareness of their shared history and support ongoing reconciliation work.

The dialogue will use six case studies from Canadian history to help contextualize the conversation: Indian Residential Schools, the Chinese Head Tax, Japanese Internment, the social and legal exclusion of LGBTQ Canadians, the Komagata Maru Incident, and the refusal of Jewish refugees from the Holocaust.

The event is one of a series to be held between January and March 2014 as part of the programming for the 2014 Jack P. Blaney Award for Dialogue. Chief Robert Joseph, Ambassador for Reconciliation Canada and 2014 Blaney award recipient, will deliver the keynote address and participate throughout the day.

Featured speakers presenting in the morning session include Maryka Omatsu, Canada’s first East Asian female judge and a negotiator for the Japanese Canadian Redress settlement of 1988, Dara Parker, the Executive Director of QMUNITY, BC’s Queer Resource Centre, and Robbie Waisman, a Buchenwald survivor and Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre Outreach Speaker.

Afternoon session speakers include Dr. Henry Yu, UBC professor of history, and Naveen Girn, cultural researcher for SFU’s Komagata Maru Journey project.

The Jack P. Blaney Award for Dialogue is presented to an individual who exemplifies, internationally, the spirit and programs of SFU's Centre for Dialogue. Recipients of the award will have demonstrated excellence and accomplishments in using dialogue to further understanding of complex issues of public importance.

For the full list of related events associated with the Jack P. Blaney Award for Dialogue, please visit the Centre for Dialogue website.

Simon Fraser University is consistently ranked among Canada's top comprehensive universities and is one of the top 50 universities in the world under 50 years old. With campuses in Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey, B.C., SFU engages actively with the community in its research and teaching, delivers almost 150 programs to more than 30,000 students, and has more than 125,000 alumni in 130 countries.


Simon Fraser University: Engaging Students. Engaging Research. Engaging Communities.

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