ReconciliAction Oak Bay News
ReconciliACTION Oak Bay has had a few busy months! We hosted three events in September. The first event was a KAIROS Blanket Exercise with facilitators Lillian Underwood, Tina Savea and Tsawout Chief Harvey Underwood as knowledge keepers. The event drew 41 community participants, including five Oak Bay Councillors, two Council members-to-be and Murray Rankin, the Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation.
The second event was held with a near-capacity crowd at an Oak Bay all-candidates meeting on Reconciliation. On-the-record public commitments were recorded to advance reconciliation issues from all of the Council candidates and Oak Bay’s mayor. In addition, the video of the meeting reached another nearly 800 people before municipal Election Day. And finally, on Sept. 30, we hosted a community ceremony to mark National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. The event drew 200 residents to the Sno’uyutth (“Spreading Good Energy”) at the welcome pole in front of Oak Bay High School. We even got to ensure that Reconciliation-related questions were part of the general Oak Bay all-candidates meeting in early October.
Those events follow an already packed summer, in which we met with Esquimalt Chief Rob Thomas to talk about what actions we could take that would be of value to the Nation. Our 18-month campaign convinced enough Oak Bay Councillors to restart the process to determine the long-term future of the Oak Bay Marina/Spewhung (Turkey Head) lands, waters and buildings. We begin (as it always should have) with meaningful and respectful conversations with the Esquimalt and Songhees Nations. We also strive to build relationships with the Nations, the Native Friendship Centre and the UVic Library. As we keep advancing the development of an Indigenous-focused UVic community-based research course in partnership with the Faculty of Humanities and the Oak Bay Heritage Foundation. In the future, we plan on implementing an “Oak Bay Reads Reconciliation” program to build awareness and support for Truth and Reconciliation in our community is underway.
You can keep track of and support our activities through reconciliaACTIONoakbay.ca. We’d love your participation and advice!”
Submitted by Bruce Kilpatrick – Living Lab Advisory, ReconciliAction Oak Bay member.