Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion are a big focus for the future work of Vélo Canada Bikes. One of the main drivers for Pedal Poll/Sondo Vélo was to begin to identify those who are excluded from cycling in our communities.
Our Chair, Anders Swanson, gave an incredible and moving Land Acknowledgement at our AGM on September 29th. It was more than a simple land acknowledgement, it was an acknowledgement of our history, of why we are here, and of where we are. We have a deep connection to the land, and yet we know so little of the history of this land.
Anders, in his Land Acknowledgement, showed VCB’s commitment to Truth and Reconciliation.
During the hearings of the National Truth and Reconciliation Commission, I was asked to attend one event to bear witness. In my naivety I agreed, without understanding what it actually meant to “bear witness”. For a day, I listened to stories of survivors of the residential school system. I heard about the generational impacts of what had been done to a people and a culture. It was a very difficult day.
Then, and this is truly where I was naive, as a Witness, I was asked to address each of the speakers and all present. I had to publicly bear witness to what I had heard, speak of the impact of what I had heard, and speak of my role going forward for Truth and Reconciliation. That day changed me.
On this very important and first National Day of Truth and Reconciliation, please take a moment to read the 94 Calls to Action from the TRC. Visit the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation website and explore it a bit.
We are on this journey together. We are all treaty people.
Writing from the Traditional Territories of the Treaty 1 Nations: the Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, and Dene Peoples, and the Homeland of the Métis Nation.