Posts Tagged ‘reconciliation’


Photo: Meghan McMenamie
A 17-metre tall totem pole, carved from an 800-year-old cedar tree was raised at University of British Columbia on April 1, 2017. It represents the victims and survivors of Canada’s residential school system for native children.

Although it’s been many years since I’ve seen her in person, I have kept tabs on my childhood best friend Carole through Facebook. She has always had an interest in tribal rights as her uncle by marriage was Sioux. So I was not surprised that she posted this article about a totem pole meant to aid healing. The story is about Canada, but the same abuses occurred in the United States.

The CBC News reported, “The University of British Columbia is now home to a 17-metre tall totem pole that represents the victims and survivors of Canada’s residential school system. The pole was carved by Haida master carver and hereditary Chief James Hart …

“Indigenous children across Canada were forced to leave their families and attend the church-run, government-funded boarding centres for Aboriginal children that operated in Canada for more than 100 years.

“A Truth and Reconciliation Commission on residential schools documented the litany of abuses that took place in the system … The pole, carved into a 800-year-old cedar tree, has special figures representing different aspects of the residential school experience.

” ‘It is called reconciliation. It is about a time before, during and after Canada’s Indian Residential schools,’ Hart explained. …

“A family unit, wearing the regalia of yesteryear, is supposed to represent Indigenous people getting their strength back together. Above that a canoe and a longboat travel over water, symbolizing a people moving forward. …

“Survivors and their family members participated in the emotional process of hammering in the nails. …

“The pole stands at the University of British Columbia’s Main Mall between Agronomy Road and Thunderbird Boulevard, looking towards the future site of the Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre.” The healing work will continue.


Photo: Margaret Gallagher/CBC
James Hart is a Haida master carver and hereditary chief who carved the Reconciliation Pole. He said the work was very emotional for him.

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Photo: Boston Globe
Al Filipov died on Sept. 11. He was on the plane from Boston.

After September 11, 2001, good works sprouted around the country, launched by people from all walks of life who were determined that goodness should have the last say.  The Huffington Post collected a bunch of these initiatives for one anniversary of the tragedy, here, but you can find examples in nearly every community.

In Concord, Al Filipov, who was on one of the planes, is honored in several ways, including by the Filipov Peace and Justice Forum.

Al’s son, Boston Globe reporter David Filipov, once recalled his father as “engineer, inventor, sailor, deacon, coach, husband, dad, raconteur.” The Filipov forum website adds that he was a painter and a human rights activist, noting,

“He sought out the best in people and cared passionately about the world in its beauty and pain. He earnestly believed in the power of an individual to make a difference in the world.”

The 2016 Al Filipov Peace & Justice Forum will take place on September 25 at the Trinity Congregational Church on Walden Street in Concord. Representatives from the Parents Circle-Families Forum are the featured guests. The Parents Circle is made up of bereaved Palestinian and Israeli families that have come together to support “peace, reconciliation and tolerance.”

As one member says in the video below, people from different sides of a conflict need to get to know one another as individuals and share commonalities in order to let go of “being right” all the time instead of creating peace. Otherwise any future agreement is just a cease fire.

The presentation will be from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

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