Your Libraries and Your Stories
Readers tell us that the “Your Libraries” section is important for making connections across the province and for inspiring or affirming their own board and library director work. A huge thank you to those who contributed to this issue either with submissions about their library or by pointing to stories, news items and resource links.
Send us stories about your board and your library to firstname.lastname@example.org
Naskan Uxwal, I am Going Home
March 25 – 29, 2017
Submitted by Jane Duber, Trustee
Lillooet Area Library Association
Some Lillooet Area Library Association board members took part in an event by and for Indigenous people, Naskan Uxwal , "I am Going Home" at which we were not only the minority but also more or less ignorant of norms and protocol. We had been told by one of the organizers of this event, which brought the spirits of residential school students home from Kamloops to St'at'imc territory, that it would be good for us to be there, to welcome the Home Comers, and to experience the dynamic of being in the minority and not in the power position. I recommend doing similar things to non-Indigenous library personnel.
Photo credit: Sid Scotchman
Reconciliation: Opening the Door to Conversations
Submitted by Daphne Wood, Director, Communications and Development
Greater Victoria Public Library
A new speaker series focused on Canada’s Aboriginal people aims to build a greater understanding of the need for reconciliation in Canada.
Presented in partnership between Victoria Native Friendship Centre and Greater Victoria Public Library, the free, four-part series explores how reconciliation contributes to healthy communities. Topics will include the impacts of colonization, Aboriginal law, the legacy of the residential school experience and arts and culture.
“Our city is stronger when we celebrate diversity,” says Maureen Sawa, CEO, Greater Victoria Public Library. “This speaker series will prompt important conversations about the experience, values and culture of Aboriginal people and show how honouring their history and heritage contributes to a vibrant, inclusive community. In Canada’s 150th year, we’re glad to bring this learning opportunity to Greater Victoria, in collaboration with the Victoria Native Friendship Centre.”
The speaker series is made possible by the Community Fund for Canada’s 150th, a collaboration between Victoria Foundation, the Government of Canada, and extraordinary leaders from coast to coast to coast.
Speaker Series Information:
Part One: Art and Artists: Critical Dialogues about Truth Telling and Reconciliation (February 16)
This talk at the Victoria Native Friendship Centre examined the role art plays as part of reconciliation in Canada and the effect of looking at art through the eyes and experiences of residential school survivors, Indigenous artists, and curators. Invited speakers included Mark Atleo, Ahousaht First Nation; Rande Cook (K’alapa) ‘Namgis Tribe, Kwakwaka’wakw First Nation; and Kwagiulth artist Carey Newman in dialogue with Dr. Andrea Walsh, University of Victoria.
Part Two: De-Constructing Colonization in Each of Our Lives (May 11)
This talk at the Royal BC Museum explored how we can make space to reflect the diversity, strength and hope embodied within Indigenous traditions. Invited speakers included Aboriginal rights lawyer and chancellor of Vancouver Island University Louise Mandell Q.C. Archivist Genevieve Weber from the Royal BC Museum spoke about the BC Archives’ work to strengthen the Indigenous voices in the Museum’s collection.
Part Three: Building Bridges Through Understanding the Village (June 10)
In this experiential workshop at Wawadiťła Mungo Martin House in Thunderbird Park (Royal BC Museum), participants will gain deeper insight into the impact of residential schools and explore how each of us can help revive the values that guided Indigenous villages for generations. This workshop, developed by facilitator Kathi Camilleri, was inspired by Jann Derrick and many elders. Kathi will be joined by guest facilitator Yuxwelupton (Bradley Dick), a local community representative of Lkwungen, Mamalilikulla, Ditidaht ancestry.
Part Four: To be announced. Check gvpl.ca/openingthedoor for more information.
Truth and Reconciliation in Our Community
Submitted by Wendy Wright, Library Director
Smithers Public Library
From the May 29, 2017 press release:
The Smithers Public Library and Witsuwit'en Nation are hosting an event that will address and explore what truth and reconciliation means in our community. The event coordinators aim to begin the process of honouring and revealing the truth of our collective past in order to move forward together and reconcile for the future. Truth and Reconciliation in Our Community will take place on Saturday, June 10th from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. at the Smithers Public Library with honoured guest speakers, elders from the Witsuwit'en Nation, and drumming and dancing from Ewk Hiyah Hozdli. ….
Smithers Public Library staff members have spent the better part of a year listening to community members and organizations that have helped guide and shape this event. “This process has been a powerful learning experience, made possible through the personal connections we have formed over the past year,” says Library Director, Wendy Wright. “It is our hope that bringing diverse community members together to re-examine history in the familiar, safe space of their public library will foster new relationships and broadly sow the seeds of reconciliation.”
The full press release can be found here.
Smithers Public Library event information page here