For the IPAC 2019 Conference, “Reconciliation in Action” has been identified as a key sub-theme. Loretta Ross, Treaty Commissioner for Manitoba, has agreed to champion this important theme.
As the Treaty Commissioner for Manitoba, one of the most important aspects of my position is to provide public education, and teach people about the importance of the Treaties. I provide this service in a variety of settings, from speaking to teachers and schoolchildren in classrooms to providing workshops to public servants to speaking at corporate events.
Given that public education role, I was immediately interested in exploring how my office could work with IPAC Manitoba when the conference organizers approached me. Since then, I have been pleased to work with IPAC to ensure that “Reconciliation in Action” is not just viewed as a theme but as an approach.
Truly building Reconciliation into the IPAC conference has involved work for several months, on several levels. The most obvious example is the inclusion of sessions on Reconciliation in the conference program. But it has also meant engaging with Indigenous leaders well ahead of time, finding out what Indigenous people want to see discussed in the conference, and understanding how to turn good intentions into positive and sincere action when holding a conference like this on Treaty One territory.
In other words, I hope to have been able to assist others in understanding that Reconciliation is an ongoing process. It predates this conference, and it will continue to be an important issue long after the last panel is held. It is heartening to see that our efforts are creating genuine interest and invite you to witness what “Reconciliation in Action” means in Manitoba.