Discussions aimed at reconciliation are again coming to the forefront with the online Learn + Connect series.
The Vernon Museum & Archives program began in January 2022 with the theme Toward Truth & Reconciliation.
“We’ve facilitated sessions on the Doctrine of Discovery, UNDRIP, and the #LandBack movement, each with distinguished local Syilx guests to speak toward these issues,” programming and marketing coordinator Amy Timleck said. “Each time, there has been such an overwhelming response from the local North Okanagan community, with between 50-100 people taking part in each session.”
Now, the Learn + Connect series is Reading for Reconciliation, using the book Okanagan Women’s Voices: Syilx and Settler Writing and Relations 1870s-1960s as a guide.
Reading for Reconciliation online discussions will be facilitated by local author Laisha Rosnau, who is also the curator of the museum.
“This recently released book really feels like the perfect place to start,” said Rosnau. “The immigration of non-Indigenous people to this region is relatively recent – it’s only been the last 150 years, or less, really. Okanagan Women’s Voices gives us a glimpse into those first points of contact between cultures, and between women from very different cultures living alongside each other in the Okanagan.”
Okanagan Women’s Voices collects Syilx and settler women’s writing and storytelling, much of it discovered in local archives and not previously published. It includes life writing, such as correspondence, journals, and memoirs, as well as translations of Syilx captikʷł (traditional stories), popular history, poetry, drama and fiction.
“What I’ve read so far is so fascinating as a reader, a writer, and a woman, but more so as a resident of the North Okanagan – I’m learning so much about how Syilx and settler cultures came together in this area,” said Rosnau.
MAV’s Learn + Connect: Reading for Reconciliation will have monthly online discussions focusing on each of the three parts of Okanagan Women’s Voices in April, May and June. Participants can join in the free online discussion for one or all of the months by registering at vernonmuseum.ca. The first talk takes place Thursday, April 21, followed by May 19 and June 16.
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