First Nation, Inuit, Métis and non-Aboriginal peoples are invited to create their own, custom-made ribbons to exchange between communities to symbolize their dreams, their plans, their commitment to reconcile with each other.
The idea of exchanging handmade ribbons is central to the idea of Ribbons of Reconciliation. Since the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada began its work, Canadians have been asking, 'What Can We Do to Reconcile?'.
Communities are invited to greet each other with an exchange of symbolic gifts of profound significance: handcrafted ribbons that tell the story of how First Nation, Inuit, Métis and non-Aboriginal peoples are reaching out to each other to commit themselves to the journey of healing and reconciliation. The very act of presenting ribbons to others is a step on the journey of reconciliation.
Ribbons may be exchanged in special ceremonies, at community events such as feasts, barbecues, picnics, sporting activities, and dances, or over refreshments and conversation in homes, community halls, places of worship, around a fire, and on the land.
Ribbons of Reconciliation are meant to symbolize the bonds of healthy communities, ties of friendship between neighbours, bonds between peoples who care for and love each other.
Ribbons of Reconciliation can take many forms and be made of many different kinds of materials: cloth, metals, seashells, rocks, plastics, canvas, wool, glass, or any combination thereof.
Ribbons of Reconciliation may be braided, stitched or sewn by hand or machine, knitted, welded, glued or otherwise fastened together.
Ribbons of Reconciliation may be short or long: sashes, belts, shawls, banners, chains, scarves, ties, flags, in other words Ribbons of Reconciliation may be of any dimensions.
Messages may be embedded symbolically in the artwork of the ribbons, or written or depicted with embroidery, paint, calligraphy, photographs, even electronic recordings.
We hope ribbons wlll be created that are expressive of those who make them.
We anticipate First Nation, Inuit, Métis and non-Aboriginal peoples will inspire us and inspire others with their inventiveness, their playfulness, and their ingenuity in creating Ribbons of Reconciliation that express the kind of Canada we all want.