(L to R Top Row: Peter Stone, Bryan Jack, Lesley Du Toit, Steven Jakesta, Victor Kisoun, Rick Ward, Peter Cunningham. Middle Row: John Ward, Loretta Dennis, Wayne Carlick, Carol Ann Johnny, Agnes Ball, Rose Rowlands, George Miller. Bottom Row: Richard Carlick, Ed Asp, Willie Poole, Mary Jean Poole)
A Healing and Reconciliation Workshop was held in Whitehorse on May 4–5, 2011. The purpose was to bring together leaders, elders and youth of the Tahltan, Taku River Tlingit and Kaska Dena Nations to discuss reconciliation and healing and decide on the best process to follow and what types of ceremonies and healing events should take place in Lower Post to honour and commemorate residential school survivors.
From the beginning of the discussion with Government on Regional Reconciliation, the three Northern Nations agreed that a critical common issue in all communities was the significant inter-generational harm resulting from Residential Schools, and in particular the Lower Post residential school. It was agreed that any true reconciliation depended on healing and that a significant start to this could be establishing a reconciliation and healing process in communities together with a symbolic event connected to the old Lower Post residential school being removed.
The three Nations submitted a proposal to the National Truth and Reconciliation Commission for dollars to initiate this process and hold a gathering in Lower Post for residential school survivors, their families and their communities.
The workshop, facilitated by Rosemary Rowlands, and Lesley du Toit, created a safe environment for people to talk about their perspectives on truth, reconciliation and healing, and share ideas about what they felt was needed to bring healing to residential school survivors, their families and communities.
An outcome of the workshop was the decision to create a Healing and Reconciliation Steering Committee, comprised of two individuals from each of the 3 Northern Nations. The purpose of this Steering Committee would be to talk with Residential School and inter-generational survivors about approaches to take to facilitate healing and forgiveness. A further decision from the workshop was to empower the Steering Committee to be involved in the planning of a healing ceremony in Lower Post; either through the Truth and Reconciliation Commission funding or through other funding sources.