Image of two party banners side by side

Reconciliation Community Action Toolkit: Plan Your Own Event

Justice, Equity & Inclusion


This toolkit contains guidelines and suggestions for planning a community event to raise awareness and discuss community support for reconciliation. There are a range of types of events suggested within the toolkit and considerations to keep in mind when planning the event.

Who is Reconciliation Canada? 

Our Vision: A vibrant, inclusive Canada where all peoples achieve their full potential and shared prosperity. 

Our Purpose: Reconciliation Canada is an Aboriginal-led organization building meaningful relationships through transformative experiences. 

Reconciliation Canada is building new relationships between Aboriginal peoples and all Canadians – relationships built on a foundation of openness, dignity, understanding and hope. Our focus extends beyond the Indian Residential School experience to those communities who have received official apologies from the government of Canada, including the Jewish, Sikh, Chinese and Japanese peoples. Our initiatives engage people from every part of Canadian society in open and honest conversation about our diverse histories and experiences in order to build resilient and sustainable communities. Born from the vision of Chief Dr. Robert Joseph, Gwawaenuk Elder, Reconciliation Canada is a charitable nonpartisan, community based initiative which was formed as collaboration between Tides Canada Initiatives Society and the Indian Residential School Survivors Society

About This Call to Action:

Why organize an event? Reconciliation events in your community serve an essential role in raising awareness and demonstrating community support for reconciliation. It sounds simple, but the act of gathering and sharing our stories has the potential to join us all in a shared commitment to create a new way forward. A Community Reconciliation Event can take many forms and can vary in scale from large gatherings to smaller community functions. Make it work for you! 

Here are some ideas to get you started with planning your own community reconciliation event. Of course, these are only some suggestions. The possibilities are endless, so be creative! 

  • Friendly Community Walk 
    • Host a short park/neighbourhood walk to express community support for reconciliation. 
  • Multicultural Fair within your community or organization 
    • Celebrate and showcase the diversity of your community. 
    • Invite local multicultural organizations/groups/individuals to participate. 
  • Speakers Series 
    • Invite distinguished speakers, including but not limited to Indian Residential School Survivors, community leaders and dignitaries, to educate your community on reconciliation.
  • Film Night 
    • Host a film night where individuals gather to watch educational movies or documentaries on the topic of reconciliation. 
  • Community Art Project 
    • Start a collaborative art project in your community to express commitment to reconciliation while building meaningful relationships. 
  • Fundraising Initiative 
    • Organize a fundraising event to help Reconciliation Canada move its initiatives forward. Reconciliation Canada is a charitable project, established as a collaboration between the Indian Residential School Survivor’s Society (IRSSS) and Tides Canada Initiatives. 
  • Lunch and Learn 
    • An informal program hosted over the lunch hour, intended to introduce participants to the idea of reconciliation. The casual setting provides an introduction to the urgency of the need for renewed relationships and reconciliation for Aboriginal peoples and all Canadians. 
  • Decide on the scale and scope of your event based on your interests, capacity and resources available 
  • Take into consideration protocol, prayers, traditional welcome speaker, drumming/ singing; request local Indigenous musicians to open and close your event 
  • Build a volunteer team to support you on implementing your initiative 
  • Consider multi-cultural vendors to provide food and drink 
  • Determine any insurance and liability needs 
  • If necessary, contact your municipality to ensure that you are in compliance with bylaws. 
  • If necessary, contact local law enforcement, be that City Police, Provincial Police (Ontario and Quebec) or RCMP. Ensure that they are aware of the event to ensure the safety of participants; make emergency response personnel available, including but not limited to Health Support Workers and Emergency Response Workers
  • Ensure that your event is easily accessible for elders and those with limited mobility 
  • If necessary, seek sponsors to provide support to your event 
  • Create communications materials and a distribution timeline that will ensure enough notice for participants to attend your event 
  • Ensure that the language, imagery and delivery of your communications materials are culturally sensitive and appropriate. 
  • Our events and initiatives follow a nonpartisan, inclusive, peaceful and collaborative approach and we encourage you to do the same. Please visit our website at for more information on appropriate language and key messaging
Wondering who to invite to your event? Here is a sample list to help you get started: 
  • Chiefs and Council 
  • Mayors and Council 
  • MLAs 
  • MPs 
  • Residential School Survivors and their Families 
  • Local First Nation(s) 
  • Educational Institutions 
  • Regional School Boards 
  • Parental Advisory Committees 
  • Rotary Clubs 
  • Industry Leaders 
  • Financial Institutions 
  • Business and Economic Development 
  • Aboriginal Organizations 
  • Aboriginal Friendship Centres 
  • Faith-Based Organizations 
  • Multi-cultural Groups 
  • Media Representatives 
  • Law Enforcement 
  • Native Court Worker & Counseling Association Representatives 
  • Justice Institutions 
  • Health Authorities 
  • Health Care Workers 
  • Treatment & Healing Organizations 
  • Community Health Representatives 
  • Child & Family Service Leaders 
  • Family & Youth Service Leaders 
  • Unions/BCGEU 
  • Skills, Employment & Training Organizations 
  • Housing Service Organizations 
  • Youth Organizations 
  • Women’s Organizations