I was deeply honoured and privileged to accompany Brad Baker, District Principal, to a Blessing Ceremony and Feast on the Squamish Nation’s traditional territories at the Chief Joe Mathias Centre this past weekend. Sponsored by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, the Ceremony provided a traditional blessing of the Honourable Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada. Minister Wilson-Raybould was acknowledged as the ‘highest-ranking’ elected Indigenous woman in Canada.
Words of sincere appreciation and support were shared with Minister Wilson-Raybould by witnesses and speakers from First Nations Chiefs, Councils, National and Provincial bodies and by local communities. A richness of culture was experienced throughout the ceremony with a diversity of song, dance, storytelling and gift-giving, along with the mid-day feast! Together, the assembly expressed their sincere appreciation of the Minister’s work to date and the support that will be provided to her by the community to address the many challenges to be faced in the future.
Reconciliation, as the Commission declares, “is about establishing and maintaining a mutually respectful relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples in this country…. Reconciliation must inspire Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples to transform Canadian society so that our children and grandchildren can live together in dignity, peace, and prosperity on these lands we now share.”