The People Bridge Advocacy held its first ever Truth and Reconciliation Walking Together Sharing Circle on September 23rd. SEIU-West's Multicultural Mentorship Committee attended and have the following reports:


The Truth and Reconciliation Event was awesome.

It was the first time I heard about the Treaties and First Nations and Metis History. I was amazed with how our speakers delivered the true meaning of Indigenous and Canada. The people of Canada, especially our First Nations community, awakened me and shook me up a little with what I heard and learned.

I am allergic to smoke, so my body reacted to smudging, although it was an interesting experience to be smudged for the first time.

Ms Linda and Mr AJ who shared their experiences and the true meaning of Tribe and Reserve was interesting; people who are the survivors in Residential School shared their trauma with that, and the generational trauma that has caused broke my heart.

This is a very interesting topic and thank you Multi Cultural Commitee for this opportunity to know the story behind those fights and what it is for First Nations and Metis people to be on their own land.❤️

Bishop Bolen was a good speaker who genuinely explained the support that our spiritual community gave to the Treaty of Canada to fight for injustices and wrongdoing.

I want to know more about the First Nation Metis and their community.


This is a one day Sharing circle program which was a really good experience, not only for me but also for my daughter.

It was nice to experience the four-direction prayer and smudging ceremony by Wallace Awasis. Prior to prayers, he shared some experiences in residential school while he was growing up. He mentioned that his first language was not English, but when he came to residential school, they were stripped not only of culture but also of their original language. When he came back to his home, his grandmother did not know English, so he needed to be taught Cree by his uncle to be able to communicate with his grandmother. That was so saddening.

Linda Young, who is also a residential school survivor, talked about inter-generational trauma that other people, especially from different ethnic backgrounds, can’t or refuse to understand and acknowledge.

AJ Felix was glad to see that many people inside the event hall who came from different countries, who are willing to be educated on how and what really happened in Canada, in amongst First Nations' people. He said that what you do to other people will come back to you, that is the law of God. He also mentioned that if you will pray with your church, some miracles can and will happen, you must believe in your church and in your God.

During breakout groups, Lyndon and Michael Linklater talked about lost language and Lyndon said, to move forward, we need to know where we came from. Those children from residential schools searched nonstop for their real families to be able to move on or go on with their own lives.

I enjoyed learning more about Indigenous history, to know what’s happening now with their land-owning dilemma, and their struggles to breakthrough with the stigma and stereotypes. The panel in the afternoon talked about what the forest fires mean to each panelist.

Mary Smilie mentioned too, that we will know that truth and reconciliation is achieved once there’s proportional children in care, proportional incarcerated first nation’s people and a proportional number of First nation suicides.

Thanks to The People Bridge Advocacy for organizing this event. It’s my honor to be part of this and I hope that this will be an ongoing yearly event.


I enjoyed and learned a lot from all the speakers, I always like to listen to the elders' experiences, I can listen to it over and over again. I also appreciate the stories from the survivors of Residential Schools. The more I get involved with these events, the more knowledgeable we become in understanding why our indigenous brothers and sisters have been affected from generation to generation. I'm so glad that I took my son with me to this event. Everyone, Canadians and Immigrants, should see and listen to these people. The more you attend and learn, the more understanding you get! One of my favorite speakers was A.J. Felix. He said, "Whatever you do, pray hard because we all believe that there is a Creator out there who created everything. We only have one God who is the creator. If we all pray to the creator, he will listen and soon, there will be an end to all these problems."

Thank you, SEIU-West, for making it possible for us to attend this event, I appreciate it from my heart. 


I would like to thank SEIU-WEST for the opportunity given to me to be a part of the True and Reconciliation - Walking Together sharing circle. I learned so much, and I was very humbled to be able to volunteer as well for such an amazing organization like the People Bridge Advocacy. I enjoyed having Bishop Donald Bolen and the sisters sitting all together trying to find solutions for a better future for everyone. A.J. Felix brought me to tears with his speech. Let’s all share the land, the mother land. That was the promise, that we would all share and make the land better, he said. This conference was very special as it united people from all over the world. A.J. Felix, welcomed all of us new Canadians into this land. He said, he knows how hard is for all of us from other countries suffering from wars and corruption. He welcomed all of us into this country and hoped for all of us to find a better future away from wars and corruption. The True and Reconciliation- Sharing circles was amazing, because it gave small groups the opportunity to engage and talk about actions that we can all do together to honour and understand the healing processes of our residential school survivors. Thanks a million times SEIU-WEST for bringing the MMC members to such an amazing event. 

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