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Beyond Land Acknowledgments & Social Media Posts:

5 Steps to Navigating & Understanding Truth and Reconciliation

By Priyanka Ketkar

Photo Credit: Government of Canada

Last year, as our team at Amplify Consulting Inc. discussed how best to honour the Indigenous history of Canada and recognize the National Day for Truth & Reconciliation, our existing convictions were reinforced. While social media posts have their place, and land acknowledgments hold an important place in showing respect and recognition, they are just the tip of the iceberg. Meaningful change is rooted in genuine learning; real impact goes beyond words.

Our commitment to action matched our intentions. We wanted to bridge the gap between words and actions, to immerse ourselves in genuine learning, and to set an example through our actions. Just recently, we had the privilege of engaging with the exceptional Indigenous business owner, Ryan Deneault. Ryan's venture, Healing Between Worlds, is a multifaceted initiative aimed at guiding individuals on their personal healing journeys.

With the conversation we had with Ryan in mind, here are 5 Steps we have already started taking to recognize the National Day for Truth & Reconciliation actively instead of passively through mere words –

1. Take the first step – learning:

Think of learning as a way to uncover hidden stories. Start by finding out the history of the land you live on and find out information about the First Nations of your region; it is exploring the stories of Indigenous communities—the stories that often aren't told in textbooks. Learn about the past, the challenges, and the resiliency that shapes their lives today.

2. Expand your perspective – listening:

Listen to Indigenous authors, artists, and leaders. Their stories provide insights that can change the way we see the world. It's like discovering a new playlist that broadens your musical taste, but better.

3. Taking a Moment to Reflect – introspection:

Sometimes, it's good to hit pause and reflect. Think about your thoughts and beliefs. Look in the mirror and ask yourself, "Why do I think the way I do?" This reflection helps us see things from different angles.

4. Learning by Doing – workshops and conversations:

Learning isn't just about reading; it's about doing. Attend workshops or discussions about Indigenous culture, where you can ask questions and share thoughts. Actively engage in and champion your learning by hosting Indigenous speakers to speak at your company and seek out sensitivity training specific to your industry.

5. Truth & Reconciliation as a journey, not a destination – ongoing learning:

This journey is ongoing and dynamic, much like the growth and development in a professional career, it doesn't end after attending one workshop or hosting one event. Just as each new experience and learning opportunity contributes to your expertise, every step taken in understanding our shared history will add depth to your comprehension.

One of the most impactful takeaways from Ryan's workshop was: "Be your authentic self, walk with courage, and reconcile first with your truth." Today, we at Amplify are moving beyond words, taking steps to actively learn, and engaging in conversations that matter. Ryan's words have resonated deeply, guiding us to be true to ourselves, to walk with courage, and to first reconcile with our truths. As we move forward, we invite you to join us on the journey of understanding, compassion, and unity and to share with us how you or your company will be marking this National Day for Truth & Reconciliation.

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