Honouring Reconciliation: a Learning Journey


In 2017 the West Vancouver Memorial Library received a Canada 150 Community Fund grant to plan and implement activities to share and promote an understanding of Canadian and local history as a way to encourage conversations about reconciliation. Honouring Reconciliation: Hearing the Truth consisted of Reading Circles, an educational exhibit, a film series and a panel discussion. It was clear from the beginning that planning this initiative was different from our usual program planning. The planning team members grappled with a number of questions. How do we create meaningful events when our processes and deadlines made it impossible to consult with Indigenous people in advance? How do we prepare ourselves to work with protocols that are new to us and that respect Indigenous ways of learning and knowing? How do we create a safe space for Library staff and members of the public to discuss topics that can be personal and emotional? This session will explore the ways that we faced these challenges through training, collaboration, dialogue and a willingness to consider new ways of operating. It will also outline the implications for the Library's work culture in the future as well as how we were impacted as individuals.


Pat Cumming

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