OTTAWA: Time for Reconciliation KAIROS Gathering

May 29-June 3, 2015

Join KAIROS in Ottawa and across Canada to hear the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s final report, May 29-June 3, and to take action towards a new relationship.

Intergenerational. Indigenous and non-Indigenous. Together.

The event will address themes of Recognition and Reconciliation, Decolonization, and Honouring Indigenous Rights.

For more details on the program and to register:

There are many ways to participate:

** View the program and register.
** Plant a Heart Garden.
** On May 31, hold a On the Path to Reconciliation worship service, a reconciliation walk, or ring bells at noon EDT.
** Help promote the Time for Reconciliation KAIROS Gathering.
** Volunteer in Ottawa.
** Plan a community event.
** 5 things you can do from anywhere in Canada

Friday, May 29 at Carleton University

4pm Registration Desk is open until 7PM

7pm Plenary Theme: Recognition and Reconciliation
Mike Cachagee, Former President, National Residential Schools Survivor Society
Marie Wilson, Commissioner, TRC
Jah’Kota, Artist, Musician, Founder Un1ty Entertainment
Moderator: Gabrielle Fayant

9:15pm Closing facilitated by the KAIROS Indigenous Rights Circle (ends at 9:30pm)
Saturday, May 30 at Carleton University

9:00am Plenary Theme: Decolonization

Ellen Gabriel, Turtle Clan, Kanien’kehá:ka Nation from Kanehsatà:ke, Human Rights Activist
Mark Macdonald, National Indigenous Anglican Bishop
Widia Lariviere, Youth Coordinator, Quebec Native Women
Moderator: Pam Peters-Pries
1pm Concurrent Workshops Round 1

1.1 Nunavut Sivuniksavut – NS Students

Launched in 1985, Nunavut Sivuniksavut is an eight month Ottawa-based college program for Inuit youth from Nunavut who are preparing for educational, training and career opportunities created by the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement and the new Government of Nunavut. Learn more about this unique program – which includes Inuit history, culture and language - from current students and graduates.

1.2 Two spirit Indigenous Peoples: the problems and promise of truth and reconciliation – Fiona Cook

It is argued that reconciliation with justice will require a radical shift in perspective. This workshop will examine the intersection of resurgent Indigenous knowledges and contemporary de-colonial visions around gender, justice and two spirit people. It will invite participants to examine ways they can contribute to more effective reconciliation involving two spirit people, their families and extended communities of belonging.

1.3 Sowing Seeds of Friendship – Springwater Hester-Meawassiger (moderator)

This workshop will focus on ways that Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth can get to know each other better. It will include a panel of four youth who will talk about their insights on the challenges and advantages of cross cultural friendships, and encourage others to join in the conversation. Springwater Hester-Meawassiger, Youth Leadership Coordinator of the Aboriginal Ministries Circle of the United Church of Canada, will moderate.

1.4 The Sixties Scoop: Impacts of Colonial Child Welfare Policies – Colleen Cardinal

This presentation gives a history of the treaty process and the residential school and child welfare policies that impacted and displaced thousands of Indigenous children who grew up not knowing their culture. It will t address how long it has taken some people to find their parents and communities and the difficulty of navigating the relationships of biological and adoptive families. Colleen will speak about the healing journey she and other adoptees are on and the work they are doing across the country to re-align with their languages, ceremonies and the land.

1.5 Canadian Roots Exchange

This Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth-led workshop will focus on bridging the gap between diverse peoples in Canada. Participants will explore myths and stereotypes and how to dispel them, and what is involved in deepening awareness and understanding of our shared history, including the struggles, triumphs and resilience of Indigenous peoples.

1.6 Building Bridges of Solidarity: Linking Migrant & Indigenous Rights – Chandu Claver, Gabrielle Fayant, Tito Medina, Greg Mekis, with Alfredo Barahona (moderator)

Everyone is welcome to join this conversation between members of the Indigenous and migrant communities about common issues and concerns. Participants will reflect on common histories of colonialism, racism, resilience and resistance, and explore building bridges of solidarity for mutual support and joint action.

1.7 Super-Hero Plant Series – Jaime Koebel

In this interactive, hands-on workshop led by Nehiya/Michif artist Jaime Koebel, you will learn how to transform Indigenous knowledge of plant medicinal and healing qualities into super power heroes.

1.8 Free, Prior and Informed Consent – gkisedtanamoogk and John Dillon

At the heart of just and peaceful co-existence is the recognition and implementation of the Indigenous right to self-determination. Free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) in relation to resource extraction on Indigenous lands is a key component of self-determination. KAIROS Indigenous Rights Circle member gkisedtanamoogk and KAIROS Ecological Justice Coordinator John Dillon will lead a discussion about why FPIC is so important and how we can all work together to ensure this standard is respected.
3pm Concurrent Workshops Round 2

2.1 Shannen’s Dream – The Youth Speakers

The Youth Speakers are a group of elementary and high school student activists from the Outaouais who support Shannen's Dream ( and the struggle for First Nations children in Canada to achieve equity with other The Canadian Council of Churches children. They are learning about Canada's "hidden" history and are teaching others through Project of Heart. (

2.2 Decolonizing Yourself (Reconciliation in the Watershed) – Sara Stratton

KAIROS’ Reconciliation in Watershed program encourages us to reconnect to our watershed and all the beings we share it with - past and present, human and non-human. The first step is rediscovering your own watershed and your own story within it. Is it a history of colonization? What does that mean for reconciliation? In this workshop, KAIROS Denominational Relations and Campaigns Coordinator Sara Stratton shares her story of “decolonizing” herself through a watershed lens, and invites others to explore and share theirs.

2.3 Migrante Youth – Gabrielle Fayant, Yshmael Cabana

In this workshop Indigenous and migrant youth will explore issues important to their respective communities and identify ways to achieve ongoing mutual support and solidarity.

2.4 Perspectives on Reconciliation – KAIROS Indigenous Rights Circle

In this sharing circle led by members of the KAIROS Indigenous Rights Circle, including Joanne Jefferson and Cecile Fausak, participants will explore the question ʺWhat is Reconciliation?ʺ

2.5 Decolonizing Bible – Bishop Mark MacDonald and Jennifer Henry

While some interpretations of Christian scripture have contributed to colonial attitudes and actions, others have been powerfully drawn upon for lament, comfort, and liberation by Indigenous peoples and their allies. Diving deep into one text, we will look at how scripture can help inspire and animate commitments to Indigenous rights and justice by Indigenous peoples and settler allies. The Right Reverend Mark MacDonald, National Anglican Indigenous Bishop and KAIROS Executive Director Jennifer Henry will lead this process.

4:45pm Closing (ends at 5pm)

5:30pm Holy Mass organised by the Oblates at St. Joseph's Parish.

6:30pm to 10pm Evening Entertainment and Fundraiser: The Bi-Giwen Indigenous Adoptee Planning Committee presents an evening of entertainment with a very special guest, Juno Award winning musician and nominee, Grand Chief of Muskegowuk Council. Bronson Centre, 211 Bronson Avenue.
Sunday, May 31
Theme: We are All in This Together

The Walk for Reconciliation is organised by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC). It is open to everyone and is free. The stage program starts at 11AM and the walk at 12PM. For more details visit the TRC website.

Shortly after the walk, there will be a massive Blanket Exercise at Parliament Hill. The exercise takes participants into the roles of Indigenous people and puts them in the moccasins of first peoples. It allows participants to role play through the perspective of Indigenous people from first contact to present day. This Indigenous perspective reveals more than the textbook version of Canadian history and reinvigorates important key facts lost in translation. It touches down on subjects such as our treaties, the Indian act, Residential schools and much more.
Monday, June 1 at Christ Church

9:00am Plenary Theme: Honouring Indigenous Rights
Cindy Blackstock, First Nations Child and Family Caring Society
Ana Guadalupe Matzir Miculax, Maya Kaqchikel, Guatemala, KAIROS partner CEIBA
Erica Violet Lee, Nehiyaw (Plains Cree), 2013 Iris Marion Young Diversity Scholar
Moderator: Jim Hodgson
1pm Concurrent Workshops Round 3

3.1 Decolonizing Church – Bishop Susan Johnson, Rev. Michael Blair and Bishop Mark MacDonald, with Sara Stratton (moderator)How are Canadian churches facing up to their different roles in the colonization of Canada? How are they committing to reconciliation and decolonization moving forward? This workshop will be a panel discussion and question period with the Reverend Susan C. Johnson, National Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, the Right Reverend Mark MacDonald, National Anglican Indigenous Bishop, and the Rev. Michael Blair, United Church of Canada.

3.2 Addiction as a Legacy of Indian Residential Schools – Albert Dumont

Algonquin Elder Albert Dumont is a spiritual advisor, poet and storyteller. In this workshop he will examine alcohol and drug addiction as legacies of the Indian Residential Schools System. Participants will explore how individuals can break free of the grip of these addictions.

3.3 Women of Courage – Helen Knott, Ana Maria Guadalupe, Jill Harris

Globally, women experience the negative impacts of resource extraction differently and disproportionally. Since so much resource extraction is on Indigenous land, Indigenous women feel the social, health and environmental impacts of resource extraction most acutely. In this workshop you will hear from Indigenous women who are monitoring the health and social impact of mining in their communities. The presenters are KAIROS Women of Courage partners Helen Knott, Ana Maria Guadalupe and Jill Harris.

3.4 Shifting the Conversation - Returning to Spirit – Lisa Raven and Francois Paradis

This workshop will examine the distinction between Residential School as being finished and complete and the importance of completing things in our past as individuals, people, or nations to ensure it doesn’t repeat in our present and future. It will include a “forgiveness conversation” that explores what acceptance really means and the simplicity of letting go, and a “reconciliation conversation” that looks at what disconnects us from each other and from meaningful partnerships with each other-the essence of Returning to Spirit’s work on Reconciliation.

3.5 Potentializing Wellness – Dr. Cynthia Stirbys

Dr. Cynthia Stirbys (Saulteaux-Cree) will present the theoretical framework developed from stories shared by female Indian residential school survivors and/or their female descendants. This presentation is for anyone who wants to learn how to transform behavioral patterns, create opportunities to foster more enriching and loving relationships in families, and stabilize healthy communities. Participants will have an opportunity to develop a personalized wellness plan.

3pm Imagining Reconciliation: Sharing Artistic Inspiration for Action

4:45pm Closing (ends at 5:30pm)

7:00pm Edmund Metatawabin Book Launch of Up Ghost River

As part of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) program, KAIROS will be facilitating several sessions of the Blanket Exercise at the Delta Hotel. For more details visit the TRC

Tuesday, June 2

Theme: Reconciliation is about Respect and Change

All events are organised by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC). It is open to everyone and is free. For more details visit the TRC website

5:30am Sunrise Ceremony at Victoria Island (no photography)

9:00am Induction of Honorary Witnesses at the Delta Hotel

9-11am Sharing Circle with Survivor Committee Members at the Delta Hotel

9-5pm Private Statement Gathering, Learning Place and Archival Displays at the Delta Hotel

Time TBD Release of TRC findings on Indian Residential Schools at the Delta Hotel

1:30pm Response from Parties to the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement at the Delta Hotel

3pm Passing the Torch: Pledges of Reconciliation at the Delta Hotel

7pm Talent Night (location TBD)

Wednesday, June 3

Theme: This Ending is Just the Beginning

Closing events are organised by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC). It is open to everyone and is free, unless otherwise noted. For more details visit the TRC website.

5:30am Sunrise Ceremony at Victoria Island (no photography)

10am Ceremonial Close to TRC and Honouring Ceremony (private ceremony at Rideau Hall)

1:15pm Honouring Memories, Planting Dreams Ceremony at Rideau Hall (open to the public)As a tribute to all students of the Indian Residential Schools and their families, 500 children from the Ottawa-Gatineau area will join residential school survivors in creating a Heart Garden at Rideau Hall, the Governor General’s residence, by planting 1000 hearts with messages of reconciliation from across Canada. This is a joint initiative with the TRC, Project of Heart, and the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society.Individuals and communities are invited to join KAIROS in supporting this initiative. Contribute a heart to this garden. Create a Heart Garden in your own community. For more details, and to download the instructions and the heart pattern.

TBD Sacred Fire at Victoria Island (no photography)
Letting the Sacred Fire burn itself out

3pm Feast for Reconciliation (location TBD)

We are grateful for the Inspirit Foundation's financial support of this event.

May 29, 2015 at 4pm - June 03, 2015 May 29, 2015 at 4pm - June 03, 2015
Carlton University
Ottawa, ON
Google map and directions