Steps toward Reconcili-ACTION at EWB, with Junior Fellow Kaitlyn Gillelan
Junior Fellow Kaitlyn Gillelan helped EWB launch the Reconcili-ACTION and Indigenous Engagement community team. In collaboration with our community, Kaitlyn has been supporting chapters in learning more about Canada’s relationship with Indigenous peoples. The Reconcili-ACTION team, made up of chapter members from across Canada, fosters spaces on campus that encourage self-reflection, intentional learning and relationship building around Indigenous history in Canada.
During her fellowship, Kaitlyn hosted learning lunches for our staff, volunteered with the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto (NCCT) and shared opportunities to connect EWB with a variety of Indigenous organizations within Toronto. She worked with community mentors and university faculty to create five-member learning sessions to educate our members on: land acknowledgments, terminology, residential schools, The 60’s Scoop, and allyship, which chapters across the country can reference to host on their own campuses.
The five member learning sessions emphasize the importance of chapters connecting with their local Indigenous centres and Indigenous-led organizations on campus. Promoting allyship with Indigenous communities ensures EWB’s passionate and motivated community has a robust understanding of the impacts of colonialism before supporting any action for change. Being in a position of learning about Canada’s history invites people into the conversation rather than calling them out. The work of the Reconcili-ACTION team is playing an important role in developing EWB to be culturally competent organization and community when engaging with Indigenous peoples across Canada.