The London District Chiefs Council recognizes the path to reconciliation is a shared journey of respect, reciprocity, relationship, and responsibility. These four principles create a foundation for transformative change, or reconciliation in motion.
We are the Original Peoples of Turtle Island; we have lived on this sacred land since time-immemorial. As the Original Peoples, our inherent responsibilities are to protect and preserve our land and our way of knowing and being. It is this connection to the land and our traditional ways that kept the spirit strong and guided our Residential School and Day School survivors during the darkest chapter of our peoples’ great story of survival and resiliency.
There are many paths to reconciliation, but to understand how to move forward together will take a combined effort and commitment by both Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. Reconciliation is also remembering our treaties and our treaty rights. If we are to move forward, we must reflect upon our past and to honour and respect our treaty obligations between the Original Peoples and settler society.
Reconciliation is much more than an apology; it is the creation of a new local, regional, and national mindset, which acknowledges the truth about our histories and the truth about Canada’s colonial roots. It is about understanding our treaty responsibilities and finding resolve and justice for the generations that have endured the harsh and destructive realities of being an Indigenous person in Canada. It is about empowering our youth and communities to move forward in a good way, by building on our strengths and creating a legacy of healing, justice and economic success that will benefit the next seven generations.
As a collective, we recognize and acknowledge the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP 2007), as a blueprint for progressive reconciliation. Further, we recognize and acknowledge the findings and recommendations of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (RCAP 1996), and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC 2015) 94 Calls to Action Report. We believe that all Canadians must learn, adopt, develop, and fully implement collaborative and inclusive strategies that reflect these recommendations.
Let’s work together, find strength in our collective resolve and begin building and nurturing strong communities. Let’s start a new conversation on a path to reconciliation.