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Journey of Truth & Reconciliation To Highlight Human Rights Day in Brandon


December 1, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Brandon, MB – The national journey through the Truth and Reconciliation process and Canada’s history of residential schools will be highlighted over two days next week during Human Rights Day activities in Brandon.

Marked each year on December 10th, Human Rights Day was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in 1950 to draw attention to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as the common standard of achievement for all people of all nations. This year, the City of Brandon’s Community Development Department will present two days of opportunities for the community to have a conversation about the recent Truth and Reconciliation process. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada was established as a result of the 2007 Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement. Its mandate is to inform all Canadians about what happened in the 150-year history of residential schools, and to guide and inspire a process of reconciliation based on mutual understanding and respect. 

In Brandon, a knowledge-sharing session will take place on the afternoon of Wednesday, December 9th, from 1 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the City of Brandon Cultural Resource Centre at the A.R. McDiarmid Civic Complex. The session will feature presentations from representatives from the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation and the Treaty Relations Commission of Manitoba, as well as discussions on the history of the Brandon Residential School, George Fitton School’s “Project of Heart” initiative, and a personal story of survival from local elder, Frank Tacan.

“Canada’s ongoing Truth and Reconciliation conversation felt like a natural fit for our community discussion on human rights this year and we are very excited to be having that conversation with so many important partners,” notes City of Brandon Community Development Programmer Rachelle Levesque Bowes. “We’ve shaped our Human Rights Day activities around the concepts of awareness and education, but also a celebration of survival, because looking forward is just as important as looking back.”

“This is a big step for the City of Brandon in acknowledging the TRC and how human rights have a relationship with truth and reconciliation,” added Brandon Urban Aboriginal Peoples’ Council Aboriginal Community Coordinator Jason Gobeil. “This is an important step in identifying the momentum of moving forward not only as a community in respecting and understanding the past, but also as a nation in being able to move forward and start the healing process.”

A public open house is also planned for the evening of Thursday, December 10th, beginning at 6 p.m. in the City of Brandon Cultural Resource Centre at the A.R. McDiarmid Civic Complex. Highlights will include a screening and discussion of Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet performance, “Going Home Star – Truth and Reconciliation”, led by RWB representatives in attendance, and a discussion with Winnipeg-based artist KC Adams about her stereotype-fighting photo series, “Perception”. Student artwork from George Fitton School’s “Project of Heart” activity and from the Brandon School Division’s Youth Revolution group will also be on display, as well as historical photos from Brandon’s Residential School.

Educational activities will also take place during the day on Thursday, December 10th for Grade 5, 6 and 7 students within the Brandon School Division. For more information on these Human Rights Day activities being organized by the City of Brandon, visit www.brandon.ca/community-development/human-rights-day.


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