ACTION: In the spirit of redress and reconciliation and in acknowledging and accepting cultural diversity, adopt the Heritage and Reconciliation Pledge with a board motion.
The Heritage and Reconciliation Pledge is a fundamental way for your organization to declare its spirit of reconciliation with and acknowledgement of Indigenous and culturally diverse peoples and communities.
Individually and as an organization, reflect on the contents of this Pledge and consider the intentions of the statements and what they mean to your organization and to the heritage sector. Consider how the statements will positively influence your organization’s relationship with and responsibility to your community and to the lands where you live and work.
All actions are based on the foundation of equitable relationships built on sincerity, truthfulness, openness, transparency, and reliability. The dynamics of relationships are delicate and constantly shifting, requiring us to be constantly monitoring, learning and modifying. Good relationship building never stops.
Seek out the support of staff at the Tribal council or Community Band/Administration office in your area. Note, not all of these will be able to offer public information, as they may focus on providing services to their own members. A strong relationship can result from listening, conversing and showing respect.
If a statement poses challenges to your organization, use the Pledge as a starting point to talk with people in your area. With a willingness to listen, a curiosity to ask, and an openness to learn, this presents a great opportunity to understand other perspectives and experiences and to clarify your organization’s values.
The Pledge’s statements are intentionally broad so that they may serve a range of organizations and situations. To ‘operationalize’ the Pledge, it will be important to consider strategies – the actions – so that your organization is actively and measurably working toward reconciliation. The remainder of the Setting the Bar: A Guide to Achieve New Standards for Reconciliation within the Heritage Sector provides numerous ways for your organization to explore achievable and impactful strategies.
After a thoughtful discussion, the board of directors will approve the Pledge with a motion. You can then share this important step with your membership and community. Put the Pledge on your website, share it at meetings, and include it in operational reports.
Approving the Pledge also provides an opportunity to build relationships with your community by including Indigenous and cultural leaders to witness the signing of the Pledge. The cultural role of a witness should not be underestimated. It signals that you are accountable and want to start things off in the right way.
Keep in mind that the Pledge is not an end goal – it is the beginning of your important work.
Be proud of your first step and be a leader. This is important work towards more equitable future and stories about our society and lands.
In the spirit of reconciliation and in acknowledging and accepting the cultural diversity of our community and Province, [your organization] pledges to:
We commit to ongoing positive and concrete steps as a catalyst for the increased awareness of the meaning and potential of reconciliation. We recognize we must be part of a collective effort to maintain momentum and we must continually reflect on the places where we reside and work, always respecting the diversity of cultures and experiences that form the richness of our provincial heritage.
The motion to accept the Heritage and Reconciliation Pledge as a guiding document of our vision, values and strategies was made on (date) ______________
Signature of Chairperson ______________
Indigenous Witness: ______________