Vancity grants $500,000 to help Canadians and aboriginals reconcile

Vancouver-based credit union Vancity has granted $500,000 to Reconciliation Canada to help the aboriginal-led organization kick off a fund-raising campaign aimed at corporate B.C.

Vancouver-based credit union Vancity has granted $500,000 to Reconciliation Canada to help the aboriginal-led organization kick off a fund-raising campaign aimed at corporate B.C.

"Vancity has given us $500,000 to get started," Reconciliation Canada executive director Karen Joseph told Business in Vancouver November 21.

Joseph is organizing what she calls a "partners table" on December 5. The event will include representatives from non-profit associations, corporations, governments and others and will aim to encourage new funding to boost public awareness of the history of aboriginal people, including the institution of residential schools.

Those schools were established in the late 1800s partly to educate aboriginal youth and ensure English fluency but, as Prime Minister Stephen Harper noted in 2008, the schools were a "sad chapter in our history" that intended to "kill the Indian in the child."

Joseph said that her organization aims to "move beyond sorry" and foster resilience in the aboriginal community.

On September 19 through 21, 2013, Vancouver will be the host city for a major Canada's National Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) event. The nine months leading up to this event is an opportunity to engage all Canadians in the reconciliation process, Joseph said.

Reconciliation Canada will be doing this through public education, community engagement and a series of events, including a Canoe Gathering, a Walk for Reconciliation in downtown Vancouver and a Closing Ceremony at BC Place on September 22, 2013.

gkorstrom@biv.com

@GlenKorstrom

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