National Reconciliation Conference Underway

Welcome conference participants!

The “Pathways to Reconciliation” conference is at capacity with more than 400 people attending and registration is closed. The conference registration desk is now staffed at Riddell Hall at the University of Winnipeg.

Journalists are welcome to attend sessions and can obtain Media Badges at the main registration desk (Riddell Hall).  Workshops and speakers can be accessed here.

A free pre-conference  drawing workshop with artist Edgar Heap of Birds begins at 2:30 on Wednesday, June 15.

Joanna Quinn, one of the conference organizers, penned this commentary in the Globe and Mail, published June 15.


WINNIPEG, MB – One year after the Truth and Reconciliation Commission issued its seminal report, outstanding speakers and thinkers will gather in Winnipeg for a national conference entitled “Pathways to Reconciliation” from  June 15 to 18, 2016. Hosted at The University of Winnipeg in partnership with the University of Manitoba and the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, more than 30 workshops and panels are offered with notable keynote speakers including the Honourable Frank Iacobucci, former Supreme Court Justice; Cindy Blackstock, Executive Director, First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada; Stephen Kakfwi, former Premier of the Northwest Territories; and Chief Dr. Robert Joseph, Ambassador for Reconciliation Canada and hereditary Chief of the Gwawaenuk First Nation.

The purpose of this gathering is to explore understandings of reconciliation and ways to implement and monitor reconciliation initiatives. Approximately 200 people including residential school survivors and their families, Indigenous leadership, Honourary Witnesses of the TRC, academics, new Canadians, policy makers, youth leaders, students and the general public are expected to attend.  An early bird registration discount is in effect until April 29, 2016.

“One year ago we gathered on our campus with hundreds of people from the community to witness together the release of the TRC report. It was a profoundly moving and historic day in our nation’s history,” said Dr. Annette Trimbee, President and Vice-Chancellor, UWinnipeg. “As a place of learning we are deeply committed to incorporating Indigenous knowledge into the academy and to strengthening the preservation of Indigenous languages. As Senator Murray Sinclair has stated, it is up to each of us as Canadians to choose even one recommendation, and act on it.  The Pathways to Reconciliation  conference will help us do that.”

“Bringing people, groups and ideas together is critical in the journey of reconciliation and we are honoured to be a partner in the process that is making this happen,” says Dr. David T. Barnard, President and Vice-Chancellor at the University of Manitoba. “Our support of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s work is abiding, as is our commitment to Indigenous achievement, and the results of this conference between NCTR partners will inspire further efforts to give life to the TRC’s calls to action. There is still much to be done and we will continue engaging with the community as we remain on the path to reconciliation.”

Several companion pre-conference events will take place on Wednesday, June 15:

Visit to Lower Fort Garry (pre-registration required)

Field trip to Lower Fort Garry, the site where Treaty One–the first of the numbered treaties–was signed between representatives of the Crown, Anishinaabe, and Muskegon Cree peoples of Manitoba in 1871. An insightful tour of Lower Fort Garry focusing on treaty history and relationships will set the stage for a meaningful panel discussion on site and subsequent conversations during the Pathways to Reconciliation Conference.

Reconciliation: Drawing with Reaction, Insight and Resolution

Renowned Cheyenne artist and professor Edgar Heap of Birds offers a workshop that will produce a large-scale drawing. The workshop is open to conference participants, as well as members of the Winnipeg community. The theme of the collective artwork will be issues stemming from social justice, accurate First Nations history, personal stories, healing and reconciliation. An artistic exploration is often an enriching method to discover hidden emotions and histories involving difficult policies and topics. Hosted on UWinnipeg’s campus.

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Journalists are welcome to attend the Pathways to Reconciliation conference.


Diane Poulin, Senior Communications Specialist, The University of Winnipeg

P: 204.988.7135, E:


Stephanie Scott, NCTR, University of Manitoba

P: 204-688-9555, E:






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