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Final Wîcihitowin Conference Underway at TCU Place


The 2022 Wîcihitowin Indigenous Engagement Conference started Monday at TCU Place, with two days of scheduled keynote speeches and discussion panels centered on truth and reconciliation.

This year’s theme is “Bearing Witness,” referencing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s journey around Canada making a record of residential schools and the inter-generational impacts.

Among the speakers on Monday was Cowessess First Nation Chief Cadmus Delorme, who said it’s important to understand the real truth.

“As we're really moving to reconciliation, we must all check ourselves,” he said.

“This is indigenous and non Indigenous on what we always thought was the truth as to what is the truth today because once we know the truth, reconciliation can come with so much more of an open mind and open heart. And we're actually going to get there.”

Delorme managed to keep things light by adding humour throughout his address.

“Indigenous worldview, humour is a huge part,” Delorme told CTV News. “And so today I wanted to welcome in that beautiful Indigenous worldview to the audience.”

Canada’s first treaty member of parliament, decorated athlete, lawyer and advocate for Indigenous rights, Willie Littlechild spoke about the effect of physical activity and sport on his ability to get through 14 years in residential schools.

He says sport offers a way toward reconciliation.

“Sport has that power, like Mandela did in his earlier days when he started using sport for reconciliation,” said Littlechild. “The power of sport is that it can change the world, it can bring people together.”

He says sport communicates with children in a way they can understand, and the values he learned through hockey made him what he is today.

“If you can balance the physical, the mental, the spiritual and the cultural, I think that’s what hockey taught me,” he said. “And I always pay tribute to it, because it did save my life.”

The Wîcihitowin Conference wraps up Tuesday at 4pm with closing remarks.

Organizers say they’re looking for ideas from the community to continue the positive momentum as they come to the end of their 8-year journey. Top Stories

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