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Cultivating Transformative Reconciliation

The Canadian TRC Experience in Dialogue with the South African and Nordic Cases


Conference Details

Conference Details

ReconTrans Conference
September 21st – 22nd, 2022
Vancouver School of Theology
Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Keynote Speakers – September 21st

  • Marie Wilson
  • Hereditary Chief Ray Jones
  • Stoney Nakoda Tony Snow

September 22nd – No Public Events


Translating reconciliation into social and political reality is vital to the TRC processes that have occurred or are occurring in South Africa, Canada and several Nordic countries. The conference is offering a new understandings of reconciliation as a transformative practice. September 21st, 2022 we will gather together to hear from respected leaders who have been walking the road of reconciliation specifically in Canada. Guest speakers from a variety of Indigenous nations will give instates that will help revitalize a theology on reconciliation, by offering new proposals in the intersections between pastoral, public, and political theology.

September 22nd, 2022, research exchange across South Africa, Canada and several Nordic countries is facilitated. The conference is the fourth conference of ReconTrans (Trading Justice for Peace? Reconciliation as a Transformative Concept in TRC Processes, 2019-2023). ReconTrans is an international comparative research project involving institutional collaboration among KUN/VID Specialized University (Tromsø, Norway), the University of the Western Cape (Cape Town, South Africa), and Vancouver School of Theology (Vancouver, Canada). Previous conferences were held in Cape Town, South Africa, in May 31, 2019, in Tromsø, Norway, in October 29-30, 2019, and in Oslo, Norway May 4-5, 2022.


Day 1: Open symposium on the Canadian TRC experience

  • 9:00-09:30 – Welcome to the territory by a representative of the Musqueam Nation. (Ok)
  • 9:30-10:00 – Prayer ceremony

10:00-10:20 – Coffee Break

  • 10:20-10:30 – Introductions
  • 10:30-11:15 – Plenary Session: Commissioner Marie Wilson – TRC in Canada – an overview
  • 11:15-12:00 – Ray Jones, hereditary chief of Gitxsan.

12:00-13:00 – Lunch

  • 13:00-13:30 – Adrian Jacobs – Calls to the Church
  • 13:30-14:00 – Yvonne Gesinghaus – Reconciliation as an ongoing process
  • 14:00-15:00 – Jillian Harris – Reconciliation and the ongoing work

15:00-15:30 – Coffee

  • 15:30-16:00 – Praxis: The ongoing work of reconciliation
  • 16:00 – Wrapping things up

Day 2: Research perspectives on nurturing transformative reconciliation – No Public Events

Session 1: TRC-meetings, victims, truth-telling, and safe space

  • 0900-0940 – “Giving atrocities a name: Survivor statements, histories and truths from Canada’s TRC and how stories build a record of Canada’s violations”, Dr. Tricia Logan, Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre, University of British Colombia, Canada
  • 0940-0950 – Break (10 min)
  • 0950-1020 – “Reconciliation as performance: a critical appraisal of the TRC hearings in South Africa”, Dr. Demaine Solomons, University of Western Cape, South Africa
  • 1020-1050 – “Small stories challenging large narratives: Concerns expressed at public TRC meetings in Norway”, Rev. Dr. Tore Johnsen, KUN / VID Specialized University, Norway

1050-1120 – Coffee break (30 min)

Session 2: Re-storying identity in a nation-to-nation perspective

  • 1120-1150 – “Indigenous treaty and reconciliation: Exploring the need for a shared narrative in Canada”, Rev. Dr. Ray Aldred, Vancouver School of Theology, Canada
  • 1150-1220 – “Narrative as interlocur of identity and reconciliation”, Prof. John Klaasen, University of Western Cape, South Africa
  • 1220-1230 – Break (10 min)
  • 1230-1300 – “Rewriting history and reconciliation in Sápmi / Scandinavia”, Assoc. Prof. Lovisa Mienna Sjöberg, Sámi allaskuvla / Sámi University of Applied Science

1300-1400 – Lunchtime (60 min)

Session 3: Cultivating transformative reconciliation: the way forward

  • 1400-1430 – Tony Snow
  • 1430-1450 – “Perspectives in light of Trading Justice for Peace? Reframing reconciliation in TRC processes in South Africa, Canada and Nordic countries,” Prof. Sigríður Guðmarsdóttir, VID Stavanger/University of Iceland; Dr. Paulette Regan, Canada; Dr. Demaine Solomons, University of Western Cape.
  • 1450-1500 – Break (10 min)
  • 1500-1530 – Closing discussion: Observations, cross-case insights, future pathways

1600-1730 – ReconTrans business meeting

1800-1930 – Supper



Partial funding provided by:
The Indigenous United Church, representing the National Indigenous Council, the National Indigenous Elders Council and the Office of Indigenous Ministries & Justice.