We Are All Treaty People

Reconciliation Saskatoon says goodbye to co-founder

  • Published - 21/01/2020
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  • Posted By - OTC
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On Monday, Reconciliation Saskatoon said goodbye and good luck to one of the group’s founders Gilles Dorval.

Gilles is retiring after being with the City of Saskatoon for more than 30 years, working in the area of Indigenous inclusion.

“Gilles has done so much for citizens of the city. He’s been an advocate for Indigenous people and has been able to facilitate making real change,” said Rhett Sangster director reconciliation and community partnerships with the OTC.

“We have a long ways to go yet, but Saskatoon is ahead of many places in its work to build reconciliation, trust and relationships. Gilles can take a lot of credit for that progress.”

At a ceremony held at the monthly meeting, Gilles was given a star blanket.

The OTC spoke with Gilles ahead of his last day with the city. He said he really started to see change after the national Truth and Reconciliation event that came to Saskatoon in 2012. People started to want information on our shared history.

He says seeing the creation of Reconciliation Saskatoon has been one of the highlights of his career, from the group coming together, to the logo, and the annual Rock Your Roots: Walk for Reconciliation.

Over the past year, Gilles says he is seeing systemic change, more Indigenous names being used in public places, for example the naming of the Chief Mistawasis Bridge, monuments, and murals.

"It provides opportunity for Indigenous people to be part of our shared spaces and places," Gilles said.

Giles says he will miss working with the people that are “out there trying to make a change.”

"The processes and systems I tend to be very critical of, but the two-legged that we work with, I'll miss the most."

And we’ll miss him.

He’s a good person with a good heart and I’m lucky to have been able to work with him these past few years. He’s taught me a lot. I wish him well in his next adventures,” said Rhett.