“Together, Canadians must do more than just talk about reconciliation; we must learn how to practice reconciliation in our everyday lives — within ourselves and our families, and in our communities, governments, places of worship, schools, and workplaces. To do so constructively, Canadians must remain committed to the ongoing work of establishing and maintaining respectful relationships.”
February 6th, 2020 was a momentous day for reconciliation in our region. We celebrated the work of the Prairie Rivers Reconciliation Committee (PRRC) by publicly demonstrating our long-term commitment to reconciliation, with 22 leaders and representatives from local and First Nations governments, schools, businesses, and financial institutions, all committed to walking on a path to reconciliation by putting ink to paper, signing the Reconciliation Declaration.
Thank you to the elders for starting our morning off in a good way with a pipe ceremony, to One Arrow First Nation for hosting us, to our event sponsors, and to the many who came out to celebrate this moment in history.
It was a privilege to have His Honour the Honourable Russ Mirasty, Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan, and Her Honour Donna Mirasty, bring meaningful words to share for this occasion.
The PRRC is a partnership of diverse people, organizations and communities from different cultures committed to creating inclusivity by building strong relationships through education and by relearning our shared historical truth. The City of Warman is proud to be one of the 22 signatories of this declaration.
We joined our friends from the following organizations to sign the declaration, a big step in our commitment to Truth and Reconciliation and Calls to Action.
- Affinity CU
- CO-OP CRS
- Carlton Trail College
- City of Martensville
- City of Warman-City Hall
- Dakota Dunes Casino
- Great Plains College
- Mennonite Central Committee Saskatchewan
- Office of the Treaty Commissioner
- One Arrow First Nation Urban Members
- Prairie Central District for Sport Culture and Recreation
- Prairie Sky Chamber of Commerce
- Prairie Spirit School Division
- Rural Municipality of Corman Park No. 344
- Royal Canadian Mounted Police
- Saskatchewan Health Authority
- SREDA - Saskatoon Regional Economic Development Authority
- Station Arts Centre Co-Operative
- Town of Aberdeen – Community Association
- Town of Osler
- Town of Rosthern
- Misty Ventures
The Prairie Rivers Reconciliation Committee developed in response to the reconciliation movement in Saskatchewan, and is one of 10 reconciliation committees that have formed across the province: Saskatoon, Regina, Lloydminster and Onion Lake First Nation, Prince Albert, North Battleford, Yellow Quill First Nation and Kelvington, Nipawin, Yorkton and Swift Current. With the support of Rhett Sangster, Reconciliation Committee Coordinator for the Office of the Treaty Commissioner, many communities are identifying priority areas, developing projects to enhance reconciliation efforts in their communities and signing declarations to work together towards their goals.
Our committee has grown throughout the last calendar year to over 50 members from communities including Warman, Martensville, One Arrow First Nation, Corman Park, Osler, Aberdeen and Rosthern. This includes elected officials and organizations such as Great Plains College, Mennonite Central Committee, Prairie Spirit School Division, Office of the treaty Commissioner, Saskatoon Regional Economic Development Authority, Station Arts Centre, the RCMP, Federated Co-operatives Limited, SK Health Authority, Dakota Dunes Community Development Corporation, Batoche National Historic Site, Misty Ventures, Lakeland District for Sport, Culture and Recreation, Prairie Central District for Sport, Culture and Recreation and Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association. Our committee continues to expand and we welcome interested individuals to join us.
Our main objectives for this committee are building strong relationships for a long-term commitment to reconciliation, and education – for the committee, our organizations and our communities.
What Reconciliation Means to Me:
"Reconciliation is important for the future of our children, our grandchildren, and the all generations that follow. Coming together is a beginning of a shared understanding. May our unity make us all stronger.” – Tricia Sutherland, Chief of One Arrow First Nation, and Sheryl Spence, Mayor for the City of Warman
“Reconciliation is coming together and growing together.” – Gary Philipchuk, Vice Principal of Warman High School and Deputy Mayor for the City of Warman
“Reconciliation is about education. About letting go of old attitudes and learning and acknowledging the truth. This is key to a move toward living, working and playing together in a peaceful way, where we understand one another better, while recognizing cultural differences in a respectful way.” – Sheila Crawford, Chief Administrative Officer for the Town of Osler
“Recreating peaceful relationships based on understanding.” – Bonnie Wohlberg, Community Consultant for Prairie Central District for Sport, Culture and Recreation, Inc.
“I believe as a community leader it is my duty to fairly represent all people regardless of race, economic standing or gender. I understand the historical role that settlement caused for Canada today. I hope that I can do my part in educating my community. This would allow us to live harmoniously respecting both cultures.” – Renee Reimer, Mayor of Aberdeen
“Reconciliation to me means educating myself and acknowledging the true history of Indigenous people and understanding my role in moving forward. I hear people say all the time that ‘I didn't do those things. It wasn't my generation that did that! That was in the past, that's history.’ My response to that is, ‘I know I wasn't the one responsible for the actions of those before me, but I can be part of the generation that stops making the mistakes of the past. I can be a part of a positive, healing and inclusive future!’ What are you doing to be a catalyst for change?” – Jessica Reimer, Affinity Credit Union
“Reconciliation is about justice. It ’s about recognizing the injustices of the past and today, and then pursuing meaningful changes to right those wrongs. I think reconciliation starts with friendship and learning and unlearning, which changes hearts and minds. Then we must proceed to make changes to our systems and societies. We all have a part to play in addressing systemic racism and eliminating barriers to inclusion. I love being a part of this committee because that is what we’re working towards.” – Amanda Dodge, Mennonite Central Committee
“Reconciliation means a better world for our grandchildren.” – Tracey Grand’Maison, Town of Aberdeen
What does reconciliation mean to you?