Two events in the next month at the Edmonton Public Library (EPL) have a theme of reconciliation with Canada’s First Nations at their heart.
The latest in EPL’s Forward Thinking Series is focused on the follow-up to our Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). Part of the report that followed the commission calls on everyone to preserve what we learned and what we know about our Indigenous history and residential schools.
At the February 28 event, TRC commissioners Dr. Marie Wilson and Chief Wilton (Willie) Littlechild will be joined by honorary witness Shelagh Rogers. As witnesses and collectors of survivor testimonies during the TRC, they have an important role in improving access to the truth about residential schools. The EPL hopes the event will help foster reconciliation and healing.
Connected to the idea of reconciliation, the library is also courting controversy for hosting Joseph Boyden in April. It’s understandable that people question his appearance, with all that’s been happening with Boyden’s claims of Indigenous heritage. (It will be interesting to see if the library reconsiders now that Boyden’s facing allegations of plagiarism.)
The library also hosts the Amiskwaciy History Series. March’s talk is about reconciliation, with Elder Wilson Bearhead. The series is an Aboriginal-lead grassroots initiative aimed at creating awareness regarding the often-untold Indigenous history of the Edmonton area.
Bearhead is a traditional healer from the Wabamun Lake Indian Band, and a former chief. He’ll be speaking about his own journey through reconciliation. Details on the free March 23 event on this PDF.