Founded in October 2008, Canadian Roots Exchange (CRE) is a national, youth-led, charitable organization firmly founded on the principle that all youth in Canada must be given the opportunity to play a leading role in the hard work of reconciliation. This makes CRE among the most experienced reconciliation based organizations in the country. CRE’s primary objective is to bridge the divide between Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth, ages 14 to 29 years old, through impactful leadership programs that facilitate dialogue and strengthen relationships. To date:
- Over 12,000 Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth from every province and territory in Canada have participated in CRE’s unique leadership and reconciliation programming
- Over 600 Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth have participated in over 45 CRE exchange programs across Canada
- Over 2,400 Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth have attended CRE’s eight national conferences
- Over $300,000 in funding has been given to local community initiatives in 11 provinces and territories
- As part of the Youth Reconciliation Initiative (YRI), we have trained over 550 youth leaders who plan, lead, and facilitate reconciliation activities and conversations in their regions every September-May
What sets us apart? Why are we engaged with this work?
- We are youth-led and Indigenous-led: We ensure that 50% of our staff are youth and 50% are Indigenous at every level.
- We are experts in leading reconciliation initiatives: We are the only national organization with a focus on reconciliation and the only youth-led national organization. We have been doing this work since 2008, facilitating several national projects such as The Storyblanket Project.
- We facilitate initiatives that cause change in a local and national context: We believe that reconciliation is something that we need to be thinking about in our home communities, as well as across Canada. In order to create lasting change, reconciliation is a process that every person needs to engage with.
- We believe that Indigenous and non-Indigenous people all have a role to play in reconciliation: As we have discussions it is important that we are recognizing and including diverse voices and experiences. Through our YRI Program we work to involve diverse youth in discussions about visioning a reconciled future together.
- We believe that youth are the future of reconciliation: When discussing reconciliation and the work that needs to be done, we believe that youth are the driving force between impacting intergenerational change. These youth are our current and future leaders and it is important we support their voices and provide opportunities for them to develop the tools and skills necessary to do this work.