A crowd walks up Argyle Street from Harbour Quay to City hall during the Walk for Reconciliation on Monday, Mar. 27, 2017. More than 200 people, including all city council members, participated in the walk, which was a prelude to a reconciliation delegation by the Tseshaht and Hupacasath First Nations. NEWS FILE PHOTO

A crowd walks up Argyle Street from Harbour Quay to City hall during the Walk for Reconciliation on Monday, Mar. 27, 2017. More than 200 people, including all city council members, participated in the walk, which was a prelude to a reconciliation delegation by the Tseshaht and Hupacasath First Nations. NEWS FILE PHOTO

Alberni’s Reconciliation Committee hosts community forum

The community event will take place on the anniversary of Walk for Reconciliation

To further reconciliation efforts and foster cross-cultural awareness in the City of Port Alberni, the Reconciliation Committee is hosting its first ever community forum.

The forum invites participants to express their opinions and share their ideas on how to broaden cultural understanding, advance reconciliation and build a happier, healthier and more inclusive community in the Alberni Valley.

This forum falls on the anniversary of the Walk for Reconciliation, which was a historical event in Port Alberni that brought hundreds of community members from Tseshaht First Nation, Hupacasath First Nation and the city of Port Alberni together in the name of reconciliation.

“March 27, 2017, was an important day in the Alberni Valley,” said Cynthia Dick, Chief Councillor of the Tseshaht First Nation and Co-Chair of the Reconciliation Committee. “It was a time when we stood together to say we are ready to explore the path of reconciliation and collectively work to find ways of ensuring we do our part to leave a more united community for our children and future generations. It was a day when we put our differences aside and remembered that we are all working towards creating a happy, healthy and sustainable community for all.

“On March 27, 2018, we will continue to build on the work we started that day.”

The forum will discuss what reconciliation means to each of us as individuals, what a more reconciled Port Alberni could look like and what steps can be taken by the Hupacasath, Tseshaht, and City to help further reconciliation efforts in the community.

The feedback gathered at the forum will help inform the Committee on next steps to advancing reconciliation in Port Alberni.

“I’m thrilled we are moving this dialogue forward and look forward to getting a better sense of what the community would like to see regarding reconciliation,” said Sharie Minions, City Councillor, and Committee Co-Chair. “As a committee, we’ve discussed the concept of reconciliation and what that means to us locally, but this next step of reaching out to hear our community’s recommendations is where we’ll really start to see reconciliation in action.”