Canadian Roots Exchange

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Canadian Roots Exchange

Canadian Roots Exchange (CRE) is a national organization that trains Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth to form Reconciliation Teams with a two-fold purpose: to teach about the effects of colonialism on Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities in Canada, and to encourage visioning and participation in creating a different kind of Canada. There are six tenets to CRE’s philosophy:

•    creating networks of solidarity
•    practicing what they preach
•    creating safe spaces for dialogue
•    centering Indigenous worldviews
•    discovering positive realities
•    having fun

These align with Luther College’s commitment to the Truth and Reconciliation’s 94 Calls to Action. Since 2014, Luther’s commitment to CRE is to provide financial and mentoring support to the Regina team. Numerous events are held throughout the year by the team, focusing on what the youth determine are issues closest to their hearts. 

Youth between the ages of 18-29 are selected by the national CRE office, receive training with all the teams across Canada, have opportunities to attend the annual national CRE conference as well as a provincial gathering and, most importantly, form relationships and alliances with other youth seeking to redress colonialism in its past and present forms. The learnings and relationships can be a transformative moment in a person’s life:

“Canadian Roots Exchange has given me the unique opportunity to join forces with Indigenous and Non-Indigenous youth from all over Canada who strive to bring about positive change in their respective communities…. Working with students from Elsie Mironuck School and seeing how their teacher is teaching Indigenous history in the classroom gives us hope for the future. We want to hear the thoughts and ideas of youth, give them a voice…. By working with teachers, students, Elders, and professors, we are building a larger community within our own community. I am extremely grateful for Canadian Roots Exchange. Having taken a minor in Indigenous Studies in University and having a strong understanding of Indigenous ways of knowing, I feel I can share my knowledge with others and strengthen minds and worldviews for the better…. I strongly encourage youth to join Canadian Roots Exchange and become involved with one of the best volunteer organizations in Canada.”
Austin Josephson, alumnus of Luther College’s High School and University campuses

To learn more about Canadian Roots Exchange, please visit their website at http://canadianroots.ca/.  Applications to become part of this team are due at the end of May of each year.