June 23rd, 2024

Group hopes to spread reconciliation message to non-Indigenous

By Ry Clarke - Lethbridge Herald Local Journalism Initiative Reporter on December 9, 2022.

A grassroots action-based organization, Honouring Traditions and Reconciliation for Society, is working in Lethbridge to help spread Indigenous awareness and education. Working within the community, the group helps spread Indigenous knowledge to non-Indigenous people to help develop ways of implementing culture into practices.

“We are building relationships with our non-Aboriginal people. Everybody who is on this committee has been doing this work for many years,” said Theron Black, a member of the Society. “We have been doing a lot of professional development with the schools, with teachers and principals. It’s geared for the non-Aboriginal people, we like to use this as a way, a medium, to start opening up discussions.”

Hoping to showcase the values Indigenous peoples bring to society, the group works to promote those values and culture within Lethbridge.

“We have so many knowledgeable people on the reserve, they have their language and their traditions. All these different things that we are trying to showcase through our society,” said Black. “We are trying to bring our programs to a place where we can begin to start having discussions on traditions and reconciliation. Our passions are about building relationships and it is very important for non-Aboriginals to have those places where they can be able to learn.”

Hosting workshops and professional development, Black hopes the Society can get non-Indigenous people to look past stereotypes and see Indigenous people on an equal footing.

“We need to start getting our people into part of the program development. Our people are educated, we are working on trying to see our ways of knowledge, and bringing that education to the non-Aboriginal people,” said Black. “Then we can work together with this new understanding that we are going to use to build successful programs.”

Helping build on relationships between cultures, the Society helps advocate for Indigenous culture and education for implanting careers and futures.

“We have a good representation of our community, we have the police, the university, the college. A lot of people have established themselves within their own community and their own networks,” said Black. “It is going to be something that is going to get bigger and better, building those relationships and understanding.”

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