Building Relationships For Change
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A critical need for continued and enhanced opportunities for dialogue and relationship building remains between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Peoples in Alberta and across Canada. Since 2008, the…Continue
Started by Amy Lambe in 100 Conversations for our Shared Future Mar 5, 2012.
We'd really like to open the discussion up to start talking about the focus of the next Circle Alberta Gathering and where this whole process could go... please post your thoughts. This project is…Continue
We see Circle Alberta contributing to creating communities of respect and understanding – by building bridges between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Peoples and providing learning opportunities that move us to a provincial, and potentially national, level of discussion and impact.
In 2008, the John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights (JHC) presented Circle Alberta: Strengthening Relationships for Shared Prosperity. Inspired by former Assembly of First Nations Chief Ovide Mercredi‘s disheartening speech at the John Humphrey Centre’s 2006 Building World Peace: The Role of Religion and Human Rights conference, Circle Alberta is a dialogue process that engaged stakeholders on critical issues, incorporating relationship building as a guiding framework.
While the political overtures of the apology made by the Federal Government earlier in 2008 hold an important place in building new relationships with Aboriginal Peoples, on the ground, relationship and community building in communities, in the workplace and in our schools is the most fundamental area where we can, in the long term, have an impact that matters; an impact that moves to the empowerment of people and respect for the dignity of all.
The value of dialogue as a foundation for development and the advancement of human rights cannot be underestimated. An environment of understanding and reciprocity will build long term sustainable and viable solutions that are culturally sensitive and appropriate. Furthermore, awareness of the state of human rights in our communities and province needs to move beyond action to change.
We need to reduce the incidences of racism and discrimination against Aboriginal Peoples in Alberta. Ultimately, a new collaborative space will aid in the advancement of First Nations, Métis, Inuit and non-status Peoples in Alberta – socially, culturally, economically and politically.
Circle Alberta would not have been possible over the past years without the support of the City of Edmonton, Alberta Ministry of Aboriginal Relations, Alberta Ministry of Education, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, and the Alberta Human Rights Education and Multiculturalism Fund.