Charolette Nelson-King

Gathering promotes youth reconciliation

NANAIMO – Youth Leading Reconciliation event took place on Nov. 30 at Beban Park social centre.

Dozens of students from high schools across Nanaimo took part in a reconciliation event last week.

On Nov. 30, more than 50 high school students filled the Beban Park social centre to participate in Youth Leading Reconciliation. The event, organized by the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Vancouver Island, featured a range of activities including drumming, a blanket exercise, and a speech from Snuneymuxw Coun. Doug White III.

Hayden Johnston, organizer and youth program supervisor for the Boys and Girls Club, said the aim of the event was to bring youths together in a positive manner.

“Doing an event like this connects both non-indigenous and indigenous people in a dialogue and an experience that allows them to share and be open with one another and reconnect with their cultural identity,” he said. “If we can get youths engaged in reconciliation now, the thought is we can keep reconciliation moving forward for generations to come.”

Members of the Boys and Girls Club youth council, made up of three non-indigenous and three indigenous youths, also had a hand in organizing the event.

Johnston said the youth council helped out with everything from designing a logo to creating the atmosphere of the event.

“They came up with workshop ideas, they came up with ideas for the look and feel of the event,” Johnson said.

Charolette Nelson-King, a 17-year-old member of the youth council, said that as a person of First Nations ancestry, she believes it’s important that young people make the effort to try to understand what reconciliation is all about.

“It’s the big idea. A lot of people hear the word reconciliation, but they don’t know what we are reconciliating for and they don’t know how to partake in that,” she said.

Gabby Keown, 18, also on the youth council, told the News Bulletin that she’s learned a lot about indigenous culture and what reconciliation means during her time as a youth council member.

She said she hoped that those who attended the event went away with a better understanding of the problems faced by indigenous people.

“There are a lot of things that happened to the First Nations people that people don’t even realize … and it is important for those to understand that it could be a deeper problem than they actually realize,” she said. “Such as the residential schools, which are still affecting youth today, even though there are none.”

Nelson-King said she wants people, particularly youths, to be more sensitive to the subject around reconciliation and why it is taking place.

“I want them to be more open-minded,” she said. “I want them to think about where those stereotypes come from. I want them to ask themselves where did they come from. I want them to put more thought into the issue and have a deeper understanding.”

Just Posted

Indoor Busking Festival to be held this week in Nanaimo

Fundraiser concert to feature singers recruited from the Harbourfront Walkway

Mount Benson park users now have 100 more parking spaces

Regional District of Nanaimo opens new parking lot on Benson View Road

Nanaimo masters win track and field titles

Nanaimo Track and Field Club athletes take gold at provincials

Nanaimo council grants development permit for 170 apartments near Long Lake

Concerns raised over traffic around Rutherford Road

Man to be sentenced for sexual abuse of young girl in Nanaimo

Stephen Mark Castleden also sentenced for child pornography-related charges

VIDEO: ‘Avengers: Endgame’ to be re-released with new footage

‘Avatar’ holds global box office record at $2.788 billion, while ‘Endgame’ stands at $2.743 billion…

B.C. teen killed by falling tree near Victoria

Second youth also injured in freak incident during field trip at Camp Barnard near Sooke

POLL: How often do you see motorists throw cigarette butts out the window?

How often do you see motorists throw lit cigarette butts out the… Continue reading

Elias Pettersson wins Calder Trophy as NHL’s top rookie

Vancouver forward first Canuck to win award since Pavel Bure in 1992

Editorial: Make it out to the night market this summer

First Commercial Street Night Market of the summer is this Thursday, June 20

FVRD chair calls B.C. incineration plan for Philippines waste ‘disturbing’

Metro Vancouver ‘uniquely capable’ of safely disposing of waste coming back to Canada, say officials

VIDEO: Acknowledging skeptics, finance minister vows to build Trans Mountain project

Bill Morneau said he recognizes ‘huge amount of anxiety’ in Calgary over future of oil and gas sector

Shovels could be in the ground on Trans Mountain by September, CEO says

Ian Anderson points to weeks likely required for NEB to reinstate 2016 regulatory record

Scorpion gives birth after hitching ride in B.C. woman’s luggage

A Vancouver woman inadvertently brought the animal home from a trip to Cuba

Most Read