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Truth and Reconciliation: A Step in the Right Direction

The UNBSU Reconciliation Committee will be hosting its first general meeting today.

UNBSU vice-president advocacy Madi Banks created the Reconciliation Committee to provide students the opportunity to participate in a movement toward campus indigenization.

“I’d like to start this as a student-run grassroots committee—[to] make a difference through students working together to come up with a plan [that’s] best for our university and community,” said Banks..

Banks, a Wolastoquey student, aims to bring students of all backgrounds together, to hear their thoughts and opinions on how to best bring indigenization to UNB and its student body.  

“I’d love for everyone else [not just indigenous students] to come as well, so we can all learn about indigenous culture… We want to be able to mold and share it with ours,” said Banks.

For many years, Banks has been passionate about indigenization and has appreciated efforts by faculty to support it in the university—but she noticed there was a lack of participation from the student body.

“[The student body is] the forefront of where indigenization and reconciliation needs to come from as an education process,” she said.

Banks was driven to start this initiative through her work as a Student Union councillor last year, where she sat as a student representative on the UNB Faculty Truth and Reconciliation Committee.

Banks called this experience “fantastic,” saying “[it was] nice to see representatives from all the different faculties on campus—and also the different staff departments, such as Financial Services.”

During these meetings, the Elders taught her a lot about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada and their 94 calls to action. This education inspired her to create an opportunity for other students to learn and participate.

The meeting will take place at 6 p.m. in the Student Union Building, Room 103.

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