2013/14: Reconciliation with Chief Robert Joseph

January 15, 2014 - March 7, 2014

Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Dialogue presented Chief Robert Joseph with the 2014 Jack P. Blaney Award for Dialogue in recognition for his tireless work to renew relationships among Canada’s Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples. 

Chief Robert Joseph is a Hereditary Chief of the Gwawaenuk First Nation, Ambassador for Reconciliation Canada, and Special Advisor to Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, among other distinctions. As Co-Chair of British Columbia’s September 2013 national Truth and Reconciliation event and Ambassador for Reconciliation Canada, Chief Joseph led a historic effort to unite Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples. Events included a 70,000-person Walk for Reconciliation that brought Canada’s many cultures to walk a path together in a shared commitment to reconciliation.

Award Program Outcomes

  • Developing shared principles to support the reconciliation of a broad range of historical and contemporary injustices in Canadian society, in conjunction with stakeholders affected by injustice.
  • Highlighting the life and work of Chief Robert Joseph through a series of short videos, which have since been used as an educational resource by Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission and local high schools.
  • Commissioning a series of reconciliation poems, originally presented in partnership with Vancouver Public Library and since featured in SubTerrain magazine and placed on display at Vancouver City Hall.
  • Exploring the role of BC's education system in supporting reconciliation by engaging students, instructors and administrators at the SFU Reconciliation Workshop and Youth Voices on Reconciliation high school event.

Select Media & Commentary

Reconciling Injustices in a Pluralistic Canada, The Vancouver Sun Op-Ed (January 29, 2014)

Radio Interview, The Shift with Mike Eckford, CKNW AM980


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