Sept. 27, 2021
For Immediate Release
Brantford – Public registration is now open for Tanya Talaga’s Oct. 6 online lecture, “Truth before Reconciliation,” presented by the Friends and Neighbours Group in partnership with Wilfrid Laurier University.
A visionary for Canada’s reconciliation journey, Talaga is one of the most sought-after keynote speakers in the country, sharing messages of truth, hope and Indigenous inclusion. Based on her bestselling book All Our Relations: Finding the Path Forward, Talaga shared the message of the emergency of Indigenous suicide in Canada as part of the 2018 CBC Massey Lectures. Her previous book, Seven Fallen Feathers: Racism, Death and Hard Truths in a Northern City, shared the heart-breaking story of First Nations youth killed in Thunder Bay.
The Oct. 6 lecture will begin at 7 p.m. Members of the public are invited to register for Talaga’s lecture, which will be held over Zoom. A Zoom account is required and registration will be limited to 1,000 participants.
As well as Talaga’s presentation, the event will include a Q&A session and attendees will learn more about the Woodland Cultural Centre’s Save the Evidence Campaign, which is raising funds to restore the former Mohawk Institute Residential School in Brantford into an interpretive heritage site to educate about Canada's residential school history. Talaga’s lecture is free to attend, but donations to the Save the Evidence campaign are encouraged. Donations can be made through canadahelps.org.
The Friends and Neighbours Group includes community members from the Brantford, Brant and Six Nations communities who work to support the Save the Evidence campaign. The goal of the Friends and Neighbours Group lecture series is to educate the public and promote a community dialogue about the former Mohawk Institute Residential School and the need for reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.
Originally planned as an in-person event scheduled for March 2020 at Brantford’s Sanderson Centre for the Performing Arts, Talaga’s lecture has been moved to an online format due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The event launches a new season of Friends and Neighbours Group lectures, with details about future lectures to be shared during the coming weeks.
“We are pleased to get these lectures back on track,” said Friends and Neighbours Group co-chair Rob Knechtel. “They were so well received by the community and are now of even greater significance with the growing awareness across Canada of the recent revelations of unmarked graves at several former residential school sites.”
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