UM Today UM Today University of Manitoba UM Today UM Today UM Today
The Bentwood Box at National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation.

The Bentwood Box at the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation.

‘Our Path to Reconciliation’ workshop now open to staff and faculty 

Each one of us is responsible for reconciliation

February 10, 2021 — 

Staff and faculty are invited to participate in a new workshop that will explore individual responsibility towards Reconciliation.

Dr. Catherine Cook, Vice-President (Indigenous), says that the workshop “provides an opportunity for people to really define what Reconciliation means to them. It opens a dialogue for UM employees to learn what others are doing to advance Reconciliation and how they too can support Indigenous initiatives across campus.” 

Training video examines experiences of racism

The interactive workshop and training video, entitled “Our Path to Reconciliation,” have been produced through a partnership between UM Human Resources and the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR) as a project of the Indigenous Initiatives Fund. 

The video examines the experiences of racism at UM, followed by education and discussion on creating a safe and respectful environment. 

The hour-long workshop will allow faculty and staff to gain understanding of the intergenerational impacts of colonization and to build relationships with one another and commit to truth and with a sense of personal responsibility.

Discussions are led by Cary Miller, head of the department of Native studies, Debra Beach-Ducharme, director, Indigenous Health, Indigenous Institute of Health & Healing, or Vanessa Lillie, academic advisor, Indigenous Student Centre, and co-facilitated by Valerie Williams, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) facilitator, UM human resources.

‘Each one of us is responsible for reconciliation’

Dr. Cook notes that it’s always exciting to see the outcomes of projects supported through the Indigenous Initiatives Fund, and that the partnership between the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation and UM human resources demonstrates how units can collaborate to make a sustainable impact across the university.

Co-facilitator of the workshop Val Williams, EDI facilitator, UM human resources, says the video is powerful and is excited to share it with the wider community. Through this video, we have an opportunity to see how Indigenous faculty, staff and students experience our campus.

“Each one of us is responsible for reconciliation! It starts with learning the truth about the history and legacy of residential schools. We need to do better and we can do this together: Everyone benefits from an inclusive community.” 

The workshop and video: A response to Call to Action 57 

As a response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action 57 (see below), the workshop and video “Our Path to Reconciliation” are intended to initiate discussion about the experiences of Indigenous students, staff and faculty and to create actions and initiatives for change.

Grandfather Wanbadi Wakita blessed the project in Ceremony before we started our work, and “Our Path To Reconciliation” was shared with the Sharing Circle with discussions were led by Stephanie Scott, acting executive director, National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR).

Scott says, “We believe this video will start the process of change to provide understanding and embrace Indigenous perspectives to shed light on solutions to move forward. The University, as a high-level educational institution, should be at the forefront of this work.” 

  • Call to Action 57 
  • We call upon federal, provincial, territorial, and municipal governments to provide education to public servants on the history of Aboriginal peoples, including the history and legacy of residential schools, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Treaties and Aboriginal rights, Indigenous law, and Aboriginal–Crown relations. This will require skills-based training in intercultural competency, conflict resolution, human rights, and anti-racism.

The project also builds on the 2011 University of Manitoba Statement of Apology and Reconciliation to Indian Residential School Survivors. 

 Faculty and staff may schedule a time for your unit/department or faculty to view the full video, “Our Path to Reconciliation,” followed with facilitated discussions. 


To schedule a workshop or if you have questions, please contact Valerie Williams, UM Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) facilitator, at valerie [dot] williams [at] umanitoba [dot] ca 


, , ,

3 comments on “‘Our Path to Reconciliation’ workshop now open to staff and faculty 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© University of Manitoba • Winnipeg, Manitoba • Canada • R3T 2N2

Emergency: 204-474-9341