“Education got us into the struggles we face and education will get us out.”
That from Murray Sinclair, the chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Committee at last year’s national university forum in Saskatoon.
It was that event -the Building Reconciliation forum – which started an annual tradition this year at the University of Alberta.
A walking stick crafted by the Chief of the Onion Lake Cree Nation which spans the Alberta-Saskatchewan border will be presented to the U of A President by U of S Chancellor Blaine Favel.
Favel calls it a symbol of gathering and truth telling as representatives from across the country discuss reconciliation.
He explains the forum is a sharing of best-practices so all the universities can see what is working in other areas.
Favel says the U of S mentorship programs will be highlighted, as will the work toward language preservation, including elders in education, and supporting students.
He summarizes the goals of the reconciliation work is to get more Indigenous people into university and successfully through it, to respect language and culture, and to create increased tolerance in the campus community and beyond.
The two day forum begins Wednesday.