Repairing relationships

I am teaching a restorative yoga class at Ahimsa Yoga this evening, concentrating on the theme of forgiveness. How can you learn to forgive yourself and move through life without shame or guilt? How do you make peace with those who have done you harm, whether intentionally or unintentionally…and should you? We’ll be considering these questions while incorporating throat- and heart-opening poses, and balancing heating and cooling energies in the body and breath.

Forgiveness is much on my mind, for personal reasons and because of my interest in the findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC). I spent much of yesterday at the Walter Gordon Symposium at the University of Toronto. Reconciliation is the focus of this year’s two-day symposium, and speakers include chiefs, lawyers, politicians, authors, and historians. Some of the speakers commented on the possibility of implementing all 94 Calls to Action, particularly #45, developing a new Royal Proclamation of Reconciliation.

My friend Milan snapped some photos of the sessions.

Hearing from others who have also read the final reports of the TRC, and who specialize in truth commissions, helped me reach a new understanding of the terms and broader context for the reports.

I attended last night’s keynote by former premier of Ontario The Honourable Bob Rae, and composer, conductor, and aboriginal advocate John Kim Bell. On the day that the new federal budget was released, which includes increased funding for aboriginal programs and services, Mr. Rae reminded us that reconciliation is not about money and budgets; it’s about forming a decent and equitable relationship, something that arguably has not existed between the Crown and aboriginal peoples for at least 150 years. The Walter Gordon Symposium, along with apologies, reparation, and other means of repairing this relationship—if not building it—are all necessary steps on the path to collective healing.

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