Creating space for transformative conversations

Reconciling Injustices in a Pluralistic Canada

January 23, 2014
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Reconciling Injustices in a Pluralistic Canada was one of the most comprehensive events ever held in Canada to highlight the knowledge and expertise that stakeholders themselves bring to reconciling injustices. Included in the dialogue’s 109 participants were community leaders involved in the reconciliation of specific injustices, representatives from three levels of government, decision-makers from major institutions and members of the public.

The event took place as part of the 2014 Jack P. Blaney Award for Dialogue, and featured award recipient Chief Robert Joseph as keynote speaker. A major output is the Dialogue Report, which highlights principles developed by participants to support the reconciliation of a broad range of historical and contemporary injustices in Canadian society.

Major themes from the report include:

  • Clarity of purpose about the intended beneficiaries of reconciliation and the roles of other stakeholders.
  • Addressing power structures through participatory decision making, balanced community representation and responsiveness to communities that lack political influence.
  • Developing shared values and intentions to create a focus on long-term relationships and outcomes rather than short-term political actions.
  • Acknowledgement, education and informed action, where governments take steps to communicate the full history and scope of past injustices without revisionism.
  • More than I’m Sorry, where governments demonstrate accountability by taking substantive actions to repair the harm resulting from past injustices.
  • A deep exchange of ideas and experiences, where opportunities exist for in-depth, two way communication between government and the affected community, space is available for communities to work through internal disagreement, and opportunities exist for affected individuals to tell their stories.

In addition to the Dialogue Report, the event speaker videos and updated Discussion Guide provide ongoing educational references about Canada’s response to historical and contemporary injustices. Included in the Discussion Guide is an introduction to the intentions of reconciliation, an explanation about why the topic of reconciling injustice is important to Canada, a set of six case studies on injustice, and a list of key concepts and questions for further discussion.

Photos from the event:

Program made possible in part by contributions from:

Special thanks to event advisors Robert Daum, Larry Grant and Diana Juricevic.

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

Blog post by Andrew Griffith, former Director General, Citizenship and Multiculturalism

Event Resources