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Reflections on “Truth and Reconciliation Through Right Relations”

Updated: Apr 1, 2021

By David Chantler

The recipients of the Rozsa Awards each receive a cash prize for their organizations along with a suite of benefits provided by our incredible Rozsa Award Partners, which contribute to the recipients’ personal and organizational growth.

One of our partners in the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, who generously provide offer a place in their leadership programs for both the recipient of the Rozsa Award for Excellence in Arts Management and the new Rozsa Award for Excellence in Board Leadership.

2017 Rozsa Award for Excellence in Arts Management recipient David Chantler of Trickster Theatre took advantage of this benefit by attending the Reconciliation through Right Relations program at the Banff Centre. He shares some of the impact this work had on him and his organization below.

Nominations for the Rozsa Awards are now open and are due by Friday, June 7th. Visit our website for more information.

A Reflection by David Chantler

Attending the week-long “Truth and Reconciliation through Right Relations” program at the Banff Centre was a very valuable part of the Rozsa Award for Excellence in Arts Management.  The opportunity to meet with Elders, members of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Indigenous scholars and other artists, teachers and managers was very powerful.

The personal stories, the historical perspectives and the look to the future all brought me to a place of compassion and hope. The program made me slow down, take a breath, see the trees and listen. Learning about current issues with social services, challenging my own assumptions about life on reserves today and hearing about exciting new projects all helped define a new way of looking at the path towards healing and ‘“Right Relations”.

This program provides solid guidance for those working on making their organizations more reflective of Indigenous ways of knowing as well as for those organizations like Trickster Theatre that are actively working on Reconciliation projects.  Respecting Indigenous ways of knowing and bringing them into the mainstream of Canadian culture will make us and our organizations all stronger.

Nine months after this program experience, Trickster Theatre has many more Indigenous artists, more FNMI consultants and a better way of listening and partnering on Reconciliation projects. Over the past 30 years, we have created over 100 shows with FNMI communities in Alberta. Next year we will be working with Stoney, Kainai, Cree, Chipewyan and Siksika schools on projects of their design - projects that help to define “Right Relations”.

We will also be working on Reconciliation projects with non-Indigenous schools as they look to have their students understand that being Canadian means that you are part of this on-going relationship with Indigenous people. We are all in this together.

The “Truth and Reconciliation through Right Relations” program at the Banff Centre, which I was able to choose as a recipient of the Rozsa Award, was of great benefit to me personally as well as to my company. It did what the award is meant to do - invigorate, inspire and transform.

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